Published 11:23 AM EDT Sep 23, 2018
The Texas-based activist who gained international attention for developing and distributing plans for largely untraceable 3D printed guns has been extradited to the United States from Taiwan to face charges he sexually assaulted a teenager.
Cody Wilson, a "crypto-anarchist" and owner of Defense Distributed, is being held at the Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas, following his arrest Friday in Taiwan, court records show. U.S. Marshals brought Wilson, 30, back to Texas to face charges that he paid a girl $500 for sex in Austin, where he lives. Wilson is being held on a $150,000 bond and is expected to be transferred to Austin later.
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. A conviction on the sex-assault charges would bar Wilson from possessing firearms.
The Taiwan newspaper The Liberty Times reported that police pinpointed Wilson's exact whereabouts in Taiwan 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.
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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. The blueprints allow people with 3D printing machines to make their own firearms, which are largely untraceable and not subject to typical gun-sales limitations and requirements.
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.