TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Authorities in Taiwan arrested the owner of a Texas company that sells plans to make untraceable 3-D printed guns who is wanted in the U.S. over an accusation that he had sex with an underage girl and paid her $500 afterward, official media reported.
The Central News Agency said Taiwanese police found and arrested Cody Wilson in a hotel in Taipei on Friday evening.
The Taiwanese news agency said the island’s immigration department would make arrangements for Wilson to return to the U.S. as soon as possible.
Police in Austin, Texas, had earlier reported that Wilson’s last known location was Taipei.
Austin police Cmdr. Troy Officer said Wednesday that before Wilson flew to Taiwan, a friend of the 16-year-old girl had told him that police were investigating the accusation that he had sex with the youth.
Darren Sartin, supervisory deputy U.S. marshal, said Friday that the agency is aware of Wilson’s arrest and is “engaged” with international partners.
In a court filing this week, Wilson was accused of having sex with the girl at an Austin hotel last month. A counselor for the teenager reported the accusation to Austin police a week later, according to the affidavit. Wilson met the girl through the website SugarDaddyMeet.com, where she had created an online profile, according to the document.
The girl, according to the affidavit, said they met in the parking lot of an Austin coffee shop before they drove to the hotel. The girl told investigators that Wilson paid her $500 after they had sex and then dropped her off at a Whataburger restaurant.
Wilson is identified in the affidavit as the owner of Austin-based Defense Distributed. After a federal court barred Wilson from posting the 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 for how to print plastic guns could be obtained by felons or terrorists.
Law enforcement officials worry the guns are easy to conceal and are untraceable since there’s no requirement for the firearms to have serial numbers. Gun industry experts have said the printed guns are a modern method of legally assembling a firearm a home without serial numbers.