Air traffic controller accused of having pipe bomb appears in court

Fells (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)
Fells (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Paul Dandan, an air traffic controller at Charlotte Douglas Airport, remained tight-lipped as he walked in and out of court in Charlotte Monday afternoon.

Dandan was arrested on Friday, Nov. 10, on accusations of having a weapon of mass destruction. Monday, he appeared before a judge with his attorney, who released this statement:

"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," Attorneys Ron Frey and David Lange said.

Neighbors told WBTV Saturday that Dandan was roommates with 39-year-old Derrick Fells, the man accused of making and giving the pipe bomb to him. However, a look at court records show the two having different addresses.

According to CMPD, Fells admitted to making the pipe bomb to use on his neighbor.

"He admitted that he had made the bomb in order to use it against a neighbor with whom he was involved in an ongoing dispute, but that he then changed his mind and gave it away instead," CMPD said in a press release.

Monday, Fells said that he did not wish to make a comment when asked about his charges. A judge appointed him a public defender. He is due back in court Dec. 1.

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