Four U.S. citizens were given relatively light sentences by a federal judge in Minnesota on Thursday for their roles in a bloody but failed coup in the tiny West African country of Gambia, NBC News reported.
The four men pleaded guilty to various firearms violations and conspiring to violate the Neutrality Act, which makes it a crime to plot the overthrow of the leader of a country that the United States isn't at war with.
The 2014 coup sought to oust Gambian President Yahya Jammeh and replace him with Cherno Momodou Njie, a highly successful businessman and former state housing official in Texas.
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Defense attorneys argued that had the coup succeeded, the U.S. government would have hailed the defendants as heroes.