Charlotte Air Traffic Controller Arrested for Possession of Weapon of Mass Destruction

November 11, 2017 Updated: January 30, 2018

An air traffic controller at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina was arrested for having a weapon of mass destruction.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police received a tip that someone had a pipe bomb at a home in northwest Charlotte.

Paul George Dandan, 30, and his roommate, 39-year-old Derrick Fells, were arrested in Charlotte after police searched their home.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport on July 18, 2014. (“Charlotte Airport – IMG_0508” by Nicola/Flickr [CC BY 2.0 (])
Fells admitted to police that he built the weapon to use on a neighbor he had a dispute with, but changed his mind and gave the bomb to Dandan, according to WBTV.

Dandan was fired from his job as an air traffic controller at the airport as a result.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) addressed the threat in a statement, saying Dandan, “only had access to the offsite Air Traffic Control Tower and had no access to the restricted areas of the terminal or ramp. He did not have access to any aircraft at the airport,” reported WBTV.

Derrick Fells. (Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office)


Dandan is being charged with three counts of possessing, acquiring, and transporting a weapon of mass destruction, and is being held on $45,000 bond.

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


Paul George Dandan. (Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office)

The FBI’s website describes “weapons of mass destruction” as:

  • Any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas, including the following: a bomb; grenade; rocket having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than four ounces; missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce; mine; or device similar to any of the previously described devices;
  • Any weapons that is designed or intend to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;
  • Any weapon involving a disease organism; and
  • Any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life.