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Charlotte air traffic controller and one other arrested for having weapon of mass destruction

An air traffic controller at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and another man were arrested Friday on charges related to possessing a weapon of mass destruction.

Paul George Dandan, 30, the FAA worker from Charlotte, was jailed on $45,000 bail. He was charged with acquiring, possessing and transporting a weapon of mass destruction, police said late Friday. The weapon in question was a homemade pipe bomb, authorities said. The weapon was not at the airport, WSOC-TV reported.

Police, in conjunction with the FBI, said they arrested and charged Dandan and 39-year-old Derrick Fells of Charlotte, who is accused of making the bomb.

Police said Fells told them he made the bomb to use against a neighbor with whom he’d been feuding, then changed his mind and gave the pipe bomb to Dandan, a full-time FAA employee at the airport.

The airport said Dandan had access only to the off-site air traffic control tower and not to the restricted areas of the terminal or ramp. “He did not have access to any aircraft at the airport,” the airport stated. The FAA said it has terminated Dandan’s access to the facility and is cooperating with law enforcement.

Fells was charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction and three counts of manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction.

The charges stemmed from a 911 call on Nov. 3 reporting that someone had a homemade explosive device in the 300 block of Minitree Lane, police said late Friday. That’s about 10 minutes north of the airport. CMPD’s bomb squad confirmed the device was a homemade pipe bomb.

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