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Saturday
Nov112017

Charlotte air traffic controller arrested for possession of pipe bomb

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Police arrested an employee of Charlotte Douglas International Airport for allegedly possessing a pipe bomb on Friday.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, Paul Dandan, who worked as an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration, was arrested on multiple charges, including possession of a weapon of mass destruction and acquiring a weapon of mass destruction.

Police said the device was not located at the airport, but instead found at Dandan's apartment. Police and bomb squad members reported to the home on Nov. 3 after a 911 call and found the device.

Dandan, 30, has been fired by the FAA.

"The FAA has terminated the employee's access to the facility and is cooperating with law enforcement authorities," the administration said in a statement released Friday.

Police say Dandan received the pipe bomb from an acquaintance, Derrick Fells, who told police he constructed the bomb in order to use in a dispute with a neighbor. He changed his mind and gave the device to Dandan, police said.

"The FAA employee only had access to the offsite Air Traffic Control Tower and had no access to the restricted areas of the terminal or ramp," a spokesperson for Charlotte Douglas International Airport said in a release. "He did not have access to any aircraft at the Airport."

Fells, who was Dandan's roommate, has also been charged with four different counts relating to the construction and possession of the bomb.

According to North Carolina law, a weapon of mass destruction includes any explosive device, such as a bomb, grenade or rocket.

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