An 18-year-old Taiwanese foreign exchange student who jokingly threatened to shoot up a suburban Philadelphia high school will face federal charges, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
An-Tso “Edward” Sun, 18, faces one count of possessing ammunition while being in the United States on a non-immigration visa, a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The new charges were filed after a judge in Delaware County, Pennsylvania sentenced Sun to four to 23 months in a local prison on state charges. Sun received credit for time served and will be deported back to Taiwan in about a month, according to court documents.
It is not immediately clear how the federal charges will impact plans to deport Sun.
A student at Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Pendergast Catholic High School in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, Sun told a classmate, he planned to shoot up the school on May 1.
The classmate told the police, but Sun claimed he was just kidding about the threat.
An ensuing investigation found that Sun was in possession of a Glock 9mm handgun and more than 1,500 rounds of ammunition. A ballistic suit, crossbow and arrows and various firearm accessories were also recovered, according to court documents.
“When someone makes an alleged threat of this kind, law enforcement must take it seriously and investigate all leads,” U.S. Attorney William McSwain said. “Law enforcement is committed to doing everything in our power to stop an attack before it happens. We must keep our children and our community safe from harm.”