Air traffic controller charged with having weapon of mass destruction in Charlotte

Paul George Dandan 30

Paul George Dandan 30

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.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Dandan did not have the weapon of mass destruction at the airport at the time of his arrest. The FBI is assisting Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police with the investigation but said federal charges aren't expected against Dandan at this point. Dandan was charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction, acquiring a weapon of mass destruction and transporting a weapon of mass destruction.

WCNC-TV reported the two men are roommates. Dandan was being held on $45,000 bond, while Fells' bond was $60,000. Upon his arrest Sunday - following a 911 phone call from an unidentified informant - Fells admitted making the device, which was described as a pipe bomb.

Dandan was also charged back in 2015 for assaulting a woman, according to the newspaper.

A representative with the Federal Aviation Administration noted that Dandan's airport access credentials were revoked following his arrest.

Both men were arrested Friday, but it's unclear how they knew each other. According to investigators, Fells changed his mind and gave the bomb to Dandan. According to CMPD, Charlotte Douglas Airport said Dandan, who was an air traffic controller, only had access to the offsite air traffic control tower and could not access any restricted areas of the terminal or ramp. He refers to his job as an Air Traffic Control Specialist. Online records show that Derrick Fells is facing three weapons offense charges as well as a charge for possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Any weapon that is created to release radiation or radioactivity at a level unsafe to human life.

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