Charlotte Air Traffic Controller Arrested for Possession of Weapon of Mass Destruction


An air traffic controller was arrested Friday and charged with possessing a weapon of mass destruction after authorities said they found a pipe bomb at his home in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Paul George Dandan, 30, was at the airport when he was apprehended and taken to jail Friday, an unnamed source said, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Police say a bomb squad located a homemade pipe bomb in the home Dandan shared with his roommate, 39-year-old Derrick Fells.

The Federal Aviation Administration told WCNC-TV that Dandan was sacked from his job at Charlotte Douglas International Airport after his arrest.

Investigators say Fells confessed to manufacturing the device, revealing he initially meant to target a neighbor with it. He had access to the airport's air traffic control tower, but the airport said he had no access to restricted areas of the terminal or ramp, nor did he have access to any aircraft.

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"Fells is being charged with three counts of manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction and one count of possession".

On November 3, officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department ("CMPD") responded to a 911 call regarding someone possibly being in possession of an explosive device in a neighborhood some seven miles north of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. He admitted to detectives that he made the bomb in order to use it against a neighbor.

Dandan is employed by the Federal Aviation Administration, working out of the Charlotte airport.

In 2015, Dandan was charged with and pleaded guilty to assault on a female, court records show.

The FAA confirmed to NBC Charlotte that Dandan's access to the airport was terminated following his arrest Friday afternoon. Fells decided not use the Pipe Bomb and instead gave the pipe bomb to Dandon, an acquaintance. who works for the FAA.