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North Carolina Air Traffic Controller Charged With Possession of Homemade Bomb

by Chelsea Bailey /
A jet prepares for takeoff at the Charlotte/Douglas International airport in Charlotte, North Caarolina on Sept. 27, 2012.Chuck Burton / AP file

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Two men, including a North Carolina air traffic controller, were arrested Friday on charges of possessing a weapon of mass destruction, police said.

 Paul George Dandon, who was a full-time employee of the Federal Aviation Administration working out of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Charlotte-Mecklenberg police said they arrested air traffic controller Paul George Dandan, 30, and charged him with acquiring, possessing and transporting a weapon of mass destruction. He was being held under a $45,000 bond.

Derrick Fells, 39, was also arrested after he confessed to making a homemade pipe bomb and giving it to Dandan, police said in a statement. He was charged with three counts of manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction and one count of possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

The men are roommates, NBC affiliate WCNC reported. Police said Fells originally intended to use the device against a neighbor, but then gave it Dandan. They did not say why.

Officials at Charlotte Douglas International Airport said Dandan had access to an offsite air traffic control tower, but wouldn't have been able to get to any aircraft.

 Derrick Fells, who constructed a homemade pipe bomb. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to NBC News that Dandan's access to the airport has been revoked following his arrest and it is cooperating with law enforcement.

On Nov. 3, Charlotte-Mecklenberg police detectives responded to a 911 call at a local home to investigate reports that an individual was in possession of a homemade explosive device. Members of the bomb squad were able to determine that the object was a pipe bomb, police said.

Police opened a joint investigation with the FBI into the device and obtained arrest warrants Friday for Dandan and Fells.

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

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