"3D-printed gun designer Cody Wilson arrested in Taiwan" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that Cody Wilson has been extradited to the U.S. and is in the process of being brought to Austin.
Cody Wilson, the Austin man who gained national attention for attempting to make blueprints for 3D-printed guns available online, was arrested in Taipei, Taiwan, on Friday, according to Taiwanese media reports. His arrest ends a manhunt that began in Texas after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.
CBS Austin reported Friday morning that Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau confirmed the arrest. (Update, Sept. 23: Cody Wilson was extradited to the U.S., according to multiple news reports. He was being held in the Harris County Jail and was scheduled to be brought to Austin on Sunday evening.)
Police have said that Wilson flew to Taipei before they were able to interview him about the allegations. He never took his scheduled flight back to the United States.
An arrest affidavit filed this week in Travis County said Wilson, 30, had sex with a girl under the age of 17 on Aug. 15 at the Archer Hotel in Austin and paid her $500. The girl told authorities she created an account on SugarDaddyMeet.com and began talking to Wilson, who used the screen name “Sanjuro,” the affidavit said. The two exchanged cell phone numbers and began texting and exchanging explicit photos, the affidavit said.
Wilson faces a charge of sexual assault, a second-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Wilson is the founder and director of Defense Distributed, a nonprofit that publishes open-source gun designs. He made national headlines last month when he announced plans to publish gun blueprints on Defense Distributed’s website.
Attorneys general from 19 states filed a lawsuit to block that from happening, saying 3D-printed guns are dangerous because they are plastic and untraceable. A federal judge blocked Wilson from publishing the blueprints online. Wilson later announced that instead of publishing the blueprints online, he will mail them to customers using flash drives.