Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Charlotte police: Air traffic controller possessed 'weapon of mass destruction'

Charlotte police: Air traffic controller possessed 'weapon of mass destruction'

An air traffic controller at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and another man were arrested Friday accused of having a weapon of mass destruction.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 30-year-old Paul George Dandan was charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Paul George Dandan, the 30-year-old FAA employee, was arrested along with Derrick Fells, 39, on Friday night. CMPD bomb squad agents confirmed that the object in question was a homemade pipe bomb.

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Materials to make a pipe bomb-like device were found at Dandan's residence, but was not assembled, WSOC reported, quoting an unnamed source.

Investigators say Fells confessed to manufacturing the device, revealing he initially meant to target a neighbor with it.

Around 10:30 a.m. on November 3, police officers responded to a 911 call about someone housing a homemade explosive, later determined to be a homemade pipe bomb. The suspect was working at Charlotte Douglas International Airport during the time of his arrest. The FAA in a statement said it has terminated Dandan's access to the airport and is cooperating with police. 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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Investigators have yet to reveal what kind of weapon was in Dandan's possession.

Fells admitted to police that he built the weapon to use on a neighbor he had a dispute with, but changed his mind and gave the bomb to Dandan, according to WBTV. The FBI is assisting Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police with the investigation but said federal charges aren't expected against Dandan at this point.

Dandan, who is also a volunteer with the local fire department, was arrested in 2015 and charged with assaulting a woman.

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