TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwanese terror suspect An Tso “Edward” Sun (孫安佐) is set to return to Taiwan tonight (Dec. 11), when prosecutors will seek to question him over his potential violation of Taiwan's firearms laws.
After being jailed for 261 days for threatening to launch a mass shooting at his private school in Pennsylvania, Sun is slated to arrive at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 7:50 p.m. tonight, according to Apple Daily. Sun is expected to be accompanied on his flight back to Taiwan by his celebrity parents Di Ying (狄鶯) and Sun Peng (孫鵬).
A source familiar with the matter told CNA that on the morning of Dec. 10, Sun was escorted by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from the detention center in Yorkshire, Pennsylvania to Washington D.C., before boarding a flight to San Francisco. Sun then boarded United Airlines Flight UA871 which took off at 1:35 p.m. Pacific Time, and is scheduled to arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 7:50 p.m. local time tonight.
Passengers reported to Apple Daily that they saw a young man who they believed to be Sun being escorted by a Caucasian male through a special corridor in San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to an international terminal to transfer to his flight to Taiwan. Staff at the security checkpoint Sun passed through did not report seeing his parents with him, however, United Airlines staff said that persons who are being deported do not go through the same areas as the general public when transferring flights.
The Taiwan Shilin District Prosecutor's Office is coordinating with the international division of the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) to send officers to escort Sun directly to the office upon arrival in Taiwan. Prosecutors wish to question Sun on suspicion that he violated Taiwan's Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act (槍砲彈藥管制條例).
The Prosecutor's Office expressed hope that Sun will take the initiative to cooperate with officers on reporting the case when he arrives in Taiwan tomorrow. If he does not cooperate, the office is willing to subpoena him.
Once prosecutors have completed questioning Sun, they will then decide whether to seek his detention, release him on bail, restrict his exit from the country, or put him under house arrest.
Sun was detained on March 27 after a fellow student reported a threat he made to "shoot up" his school in Pennsylvania on May 1. Though he claimed the alleged threat was just a joke, subsequent searches turned up 1,600 rounds of ammunition and a handgun he had built himself, according to police statements.
On March 31, Di and the senior Sun, landed in the U.S. to mount a defense for their son. Though the celebrity's lawyer was able to arrange a plea deal after Sun agreed to apologize for his actions and plead guilty to making "terroristic threats" in exchange for a suspended sentence, in June he was handed over to federal authorities who then charged him with possessing ammunition while on a nonimmigrant visa.
After Sun, 18, spent eight months in detention, including five in federal custody, U.S. District Judge Nitza Quinones-Alejandro on Nov. 19 imposed a "time served" sentence and called for his voluntary and immediate deportation, reported Philly.com. Sun faces a lifetime ban from returning to the U.S., unless he is given special permission to do so in the future.
During the court hearing Sun Peng pleaded for his son's release saying that his acting career had been suspended because of the case and that "his mother's health is getting worse and worse, she is deaf in her left ear, and she can hardly sleep each night." The elder Sun said he apologized for the problems his son caused in the U.S., mentioned that a university in Taiwan had admitted him, and asked the judge to give him the chance to rebuild his family and better educate Sun.
In response, Quinones-Alejandro admonished his parents for coddling him by saying, "Once your son is released, I want you to make sure your son grows up and becomes a mature person. You can't continue to shelter him," according to Philly.com.
Sun Peng has reportedly coordinated with the Chungyu University of Film and Arts on allowing his son to take pre-sessional courses at the university next year.
All told, Sun's parents have burned through NT$100 million in property assets, including an NT$86 million mansion, to pay for their son's legal defense over the past eight months, reported Liberty Times. However, more costly lawyer's fees may be in the pipeline, as Sun could face legal sanctions in Taiwan once he returns, according to the news channel News Wawawa (新聞挖挖哇).