Taiwanese student faces federal charge in U.S. shooting threat

2018/06/07 10:43:24 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taiwanese student faces federal charge in U.S. shooting threat

New York, June 6 (CNA) A Taiwanese student who pleaded guilty to threatening to shoot up his school was arraigned in Philadelphia Wednesday to face a new federal charge, local media reported.

If convicted of the federal charge, An Tso Sun (孫安佐) will be deported and permanently barred from re-entering the United States, according to Philly.com.

"Mr. Sun may have said he was just kidding after he made this threat, but his alleged threat is no laughing matter," U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was quoted as saying at a news conference after the arraignment.

Sun is being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and will be held in federal custody until his next court date, Philly.com said.

The 18-year-old was arrested March 26 on charges of making "terroristic threats with the intent to terrorize another" and possessing "instrument of crime" after threatening to carry out a mass shooting May 1 at Bonner and Prendergast Catholic High School in Delaware, Pennsylvania.

The teenager said that he was only joking when he talked about shooting up his school.

During a search of his bedroom, police found a ballistic vest, a crossbow with scope and light, 20 rounds of 9mm ammunition and other items. They also found that Sun had used a school-issued iPad to search for information regarding how to obtain parts to make an AK-47 or an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

Authorities later discovered that Sun had built a 9mm handgun with parts bought online and had over 1,600 rounds of ammunition for various other types of firearms.

On Monday, Sun entered an open plea in Delaware County Court to making "terroristic threats" in exchange for having the "possession of instrument of crime" charge dropped.

Sun's lawyer proposed that the case be handed over to a federal court to solve the legal problem of weapons possession involving a non-American citizen and allow the teenager to leave the United States as soon as possible.

According to an Associated Press report, Sun was sentenced to four to 23 months in prison, but a judge ordered immediate parole to federal authorities for deportation.

(By Ozzy Yin and Y.F. Low)
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