An air traffic controller at Charlotte Douglas International Airport received a homemade pipe bomb from his roommate, police said Friday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers responded to 315 Minitree Lane after receiving 911 calls reporting that a local resident was in possession of a homemade explosive device. Members of the CMPD Bomb Squad also responded and confirmed that it was a homemade pipe bomb. Two Charlotte residents, Derrick Fells and Paul Dandon were charged with manufacturing and possessing a weapon of mass destruction.
Fells, 30, constructed the device and admitted that he had made the bomb in order to use it against a neighbor. Fells changed his mind and gave it away to Dandon, 30, who was a full-time employee of the Federal Aviation Administration working out of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
“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,” airport officials said in a news release. “He did not have access to any aircraft at the Airport.”
Detectives on Friday obtained warrants for both men and they were arrested. Dandon was charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction, acquiring a weapon of mass destruction and transporting a weapon of mass destruction. Fells was charged with three counts of manufacturing a weapon of mass destruction and one count of possession of a weapon of mass destruction.
“The FAA has terminated the employee’s access to the facility and is cooperating with law enforcement authorities,” FAA officials said in a news release.