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Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty in Gambia Overthrow Plot

Mila Koumpilova | Star Tribune   in 
January 30, 2015

A Brooklyn Park man pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a failed attempt to topple the Gambian government.

Papa Faal, 46, a U.S. citizen and a veteran of the U.S. military, entered a guilty plea to charges of making a military expedition against a friendly nation and shipping weapons without the needed license.

Supporters in the Gambian community in Minnesota and beyond have hailed Faal as a hero and freedom fighter and have raised funds for his defense.

Federal sentencing guidelines call for a jail term from 51 to 63 months and a fine of $10,000 to $100,000, U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery told Faal. But Faal’s attorney, David Reyes, said he will seek a lighter sentence.

Cherno Njie, an Austin, Texas, real estate developer whom Faal identified as one of the men who had planned and financed the coup attempt, faces the same charges.

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