Taiwanese authorities on Friday arrested Cody Wilson, the owner of an Austin-based company that sells blueprints for making 3-D printed guns, on immigration charges stemming from Texas allegations that he paid a juvenile for sex, official media reported.
The Central News Agency said Taiwanese police took Wilson into custody at a restaurant in Taipei. He was arrested by Taiwan’s immigration department for entering the country illegally after U.S. authorities annulled his U.S. travel documents.
The Taiwanese news agency said authorities planned to arrange for Wilson’s return to the United States as soon as possible.
The Taiwan newspaper The Liberty Times reports that Taiwan police pinpointed his exact whereabouts by proposing a business deal with his company on his website and then monitoring when and where he signed the contract online. The newspaper said he cooperated calmly with authorities upon arrest.
The 30-year-old Texan was accused in court documents this week in Austin of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
Austin police Cmdr. Troy Officer said Wednesday that Wilson left the United States after a friend of the 16-year-old girl had told him that police were investigating the accusation that he had sex with her.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, the teenager told authorities that she met the man, who used the name “Sanjuro,” on a website called SugarDaddyMeet.com.
The arrest affidavit alleges that a user identified himself to the teenager as “Cody Wilson” and described himself to her as a “big deal.”
A police investigation, using hotel records, driver’s license information and surveillance footage, showed Wilson had allegedly rented a room at the hotel where the victim said the two had sex.
Wilson is identified in a U.S. court filing as the owner of Austin-based Defense Distributed. After a federal court barred Wilson from posting printable gun blueprints online for free last month, he announced he had begun selling them for any amount of money to U.S. customers through his website.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia sued to stop an agreement that the government reached with Defense Distributed, arguing that the blueprints could be obtained by felons or terrorists. The initial legal battle became moot after the Trump administration reversed an earlier ruling by the U.S. State Department and agreed to allow him to post the blueprints online.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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