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Charlotte Airport Controller Arrested for Weapon of Mass Destruction Possession

Charlotte Airport Controller Arrested for Weapon of Mass Destruction Possession

Paul George Dandan, 30, an air traffic controller at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, was arrested and charged with acquiring, possessing, and transporting a weapon of mass destruction, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Police found a homemade pipe bomb in his North Carolina home after responding to a 911 call on November 3.

According to CNN, a police statement said that the airport employee did not have access to any aircraft. 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," the statement said.

Investigators have deduced that Dandan's roommate, 39-year-old Derrick Fells, built the bomb to "use it against a neighbor with whom he was involved in an ongoing dispute." Fells later changed his mind, and gave the explosive to Dandan. Both men were arrested on Friday.

Dandan was previously arrested in 2015 and charged with assault on a female.

Police do not know what Dandan intended for the bomb, or if he had ever taken the bomb to the airport. Regardless, Federal Aviation Administration officials told CNN that Dandan's access to the Charlotte airport was terminated upon hearing of the arrest.

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

Incidentally, the report reveals that a pipe bomb can now be classified as a WMD.

The FBI's website describes a weapon of mass destruction as any explosive, incendiary or poisonous weapon containing an explosive or incendiary charge of more than four ounces.

"Any weapons designed or intend to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors," reads the FBI description.

Dandan was released from jail late Saturday night. Both he and Fells are scheduled to appear in court on Monday for their arraignment.

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