Air traffic controller accused of carrying pipe bomb to appear in court

Two men accused of having a weapon of mass destruction will make their first appearances in court Monday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An air traffic controller who was accused of possessing a homemade pipe bomb has been released from jail Saturday.

According to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, 30-year-old Paul George Dandan was released from jail Saturday morning. His release comes less than 24 hours after the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported Dandan, an air traffic controller at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, was charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

RELATED: Air traffic controller received homemade pipe bomb, police say

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers responded to a 911 call November 3 in reference to a person being in possession of a homemade explosive device in the 300 block of Minitree Lane. CMPD later confirmed the object in question was a homemade pipe bomb. 

Detectives later determined that 39-year-old Derrick Fells built the explosive device. Fells told detectives he made the bomb in order to use it against a neighbor. According to investigators, Fells changed his mind and gave the bomb to Dandan.

Matt Conrad lives on the same street as Dandan, and he said with recent world events, including mass shootings and terror attacks, he's no longer surprised by anything.

"To me, this is little compared to so many other stuff, and that's sad to say a bomb being built houses down from you is little," Conrad said. "But that's what it is."

According to CMPD, Charlotte Douglas Airport said Dandan only had access to the offsite air traffic control tower and could not access any restricted areas of the terminal or ramp.

Fells was also released from Mecklenburg County jail Saturday. His release comes less than 24 hours after he was charged with three counts of manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction and one count of possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

According to online court records, both Dandan and Fells are scheduled to appear in district court Monday afternoon.

Dandan's attorneys, Ron Frey and David Lange, released a statement Monday:

There is no allegation of any wrongdoing with respect to Mr. Dandan's position as an air-traffic controller and no allegation that he intended or attempted to harm any person or property. As an air-traffic controller and volunteer firefighter, he committed himself to the service of others and the community. He cooperated with the authorities during the investigation. As counsel for Mr. Dandan, we look forward to addressing the matter in court.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment