Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Police Launch International Manhunt for 3D-Printed Gun Activist Cody Wilson

Police Launch International Manhunt for 3D-Printed Gun Activist Cody Wilson

Taiwanese authorities arrested 3D-printed gun advocate Cody Wilson in Taipei City on Friday, mere days after Texas authorities filed charges against him for sexual assault of a minor, Taiwan News reported. It is expected to deport him to the U.S.to face those charges, which carry a potential 2 to 20 years in prison and $10,000 fine. While Taiwan does not have an extradition agreement with the US, police there have said they are cooperating with the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force's investigation.

On Wednesday, Trey Officer of the Austin Police Department's organized crime division told reporters that police had begun a manhunt for Wilson who flew to Taipei and cancelled his flight back to the U.S.

According to BuzzFeed News, Wilson had fled the US for Taiwan after the alleged victim's friend tipped him off to the police investigation into the incident, and had reportedly signed a six-month contract for an apartment one day prior to his arrest.

The U.S. Marshals Service, which would likely be responsible for taking Wilson back to the United States, said in a statement it was aware of Wilson's arrest and was "fully engaged with our worldwide partners on this matter". "We are fully engaged with our worldwide partners on this matter", USMS responded.

Texas and federal authorities launched an worldwide manhunt for Wilson after learning of his whereabouts overseas and that he missed a scheduled return flight home.

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Wilson is identified in the affidavit as the owner of Austin-based Defense Distributed.

Earlier this week, Texas police issued a warrant for his arrest. Wilson met the girl through the website SugarDaddyMeet.com, where she had created an online profile, according to the document. Investigators said they were able to corroborate the victim's story by reviewing phone records and surveillance video from the locations they were together. He paid her $500 for sex.

Detectives have spoken with the victim, Officer said at the news conference, and "in their opinion, if someone mistakes her age, it would be because they think she's younger, not older, than the 16-year-old that she is".

Wilson announced in August that he is selling 3D-printed gun blueprints through his website after the federal court blocked him from posting them online for free.

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