(Reuters) – A Texas man running a 3-D printed guns company was booked into a Houston jail on a charge of sexual assault on Sunday after Taiwanese officials sent him back to the United States, where he is accused of having sex with an underage girl.
Cody Wilson, 30, flew to Taiwan after learning he was under investigation, police said, and was picked up by Taiwanese authorities on Friday after his U.S. passport was annulled. He was deported to the United States on Saturday.
He was booked into Harris County jail in Houston on Sunday, according to the jail’s website.
Wilson’s attorney, Samy Khalil, said in a statement late on Sunday: “We are glad that Cody is back in Texas again where we can work with him on his case. That’s our focus right now, representing our client and preparing his defense.”
As the founder of Defense Distributed, Wilson became a notable figure in the U.S. debate over guns after the company posted on the internet the blueprints for plastic guns that can be made with a 3-D printer.
The files could previously be downloaded for free but a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction last month that blocked the posting of the blueprints online.
Wilson was placed under investigation after a counselor told authorities on Aug. 22 a 16-year-old girl said she was paid $500 to have sex with Wilson at an Austin hotel, police said.
Investigators later interviewed the girl and obtained a warrant for Wilson’s arrest on Wednesday, but by then he had caught a flight to Taiwan. Police said at the time they were aware Wilson traveled often for business but that it was not clear why he had flown to Taiwan.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Paul Tait)
By Tina Bellon
(Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday extended a ban on the online distribution of 3-D printed gun blueprints, a win for a group of mainly Democratic-led states that said such a publication would violate their right to regulate firearms and endanger their citizens.
U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle issued the extension of a nationwide injunction, blocking a Texas-based group from disseminating files for printing plastic weapons on the internet.
Lasnik’s prior order issued on July 31 blocked the release of the blueprints hours before they were set to hit the internet. That temporary ban was set to expire on Tuesday and the new ban will remain in place until the case is resolved.
Monday’s decision blocks a settlement President Donald Trump’s administration had reached with Defense Distributed, a group arguing that access to the online blueprints is guaranteed under First and Second Amendment rights, respectively to free speech and to bear arms.
A group of 19 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in July sued the U.S. government, arguing that publishing blueprints would allow criminals easy access to weapons. They also said the Trump administration had failed to explain why it settled the case.
Lasnik said the states have submitted sufficient evidence that they are likely to suffer “irreparable harm” if the blueprints are published. The judge also said Defense Distributed’s First Amendment concerns were “dwarfed” by the states’ safety considerations.
Defense Distributed had put the files on the internet a few days before Lasnik issued the initial temporary ban and the blueprints continue to be available on several other online websites.
(Reporting by Tina Bellon, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Marguerita Choy)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned on Thursday that anyone who uses a 3-D printer to make an “undetectable” gun will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, a day after his department asked a court not to block the public from downloading blueprints for the guns.
“We will not stand for the evasion … of current law and will take action to ensure that individuals who violate the law by making plastic firearms and rendering them undetectable, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” Sessions said in his Thursday statement.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert)