United States air traffic controller charged with possessing pipe bomb


An air traffic controller at a North Carolina airport was arrested after he was found to be in possession of a homemade explosive device, police said. Dandan was charged with one count each of possession of a weapon of mass destruction, acquiring a weapon of mass destruction and transport of a weapon of mass destruction.

According to the New York Post, Paul George Dandan, 30, was arrested Friday in Charlotte.

It was later confirmed the bomb had been built by Dandan's roommate, Derrick Fells, 39, to be used in an alleged attack 'against a neighbor, ' according to WCNC.

Officers with the CMPD's bomb squad later confirmed that the explosive device in question was a homemade pipe bomb.

WSOC TV reported that Dandan was working in the Charlotte Douglas airport at the time of his arrest.

Police said it was found at Dandan's apartment.

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The charges stemmed from a 911 call on November 3 reporting that someone had a homemade explosive device in the 300 block of Minitree Lane, police said late Friday.

An FAA spokesperson told WBTV that Dandan "only had access to the offsite Air Traffic Control Tower and had not access to the restricted areas of the terminal or ramp".

Dandan was sacked from his position at Charlotte Douglas International Airport following his arrest, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Fells has been charged with three counts of manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction and one count of possession of a weapon of mass destruction. The Observer report says that officials do not think that Dandan will face federal charges. "He did not have access to any aircraft at the airport", reported WBTV.

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

Police did not say how Dandan and Fells knew each other, nor did they say why Fells gave the device to Dandan, or why Dandan accepted it.