NORTH CAROLINA – A North Carolina air traffic controller was arrested Friday for allegedly having a weapon of mass destruction, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.
Paul George Dandan, 30, a worker at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, was charged with acquiring, possessing and transporting a weapon of mass destruction, police said in a statement.
Last week, police received a 911 call that someone had a homemade explosive at a Charlotte home. When officers arrived, they found a homemade pipe bomb, authorities said.
Investigators said another man, 39-year-old Derrick Fells, built the bomb to “use it against a neighbor with whom he was involved in an ongoing dispute.” But Fells changed his mind and gave Dandan the device, police said.
Both men were arrested Friday, but it’s unclear how they knew each other.
Fells was charged with three counts of manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction and one count of possession of a weapon of mass destruction, police said.
Police did not say what Dandan’s intentions were or whether he took the bomb to the airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Dandan’s access to the airport “was terminated.”
In a statement, the Charlotte Douglas International Airport said Dandan 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.
The FBI describes a weapon of mass destruction as any explosive, incendiary, or poisonous gas, including a bomb, grenade or rocket that has 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,” the FBI says on its website.