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Press Release

Benton Harbor FBI Safe Streets Task Force Leads To Conviction Of Felon Possessing Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN —U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Joseph Favorite, 24, of Benton Harbor, was sentenced to serve 120 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  U.S. District Judge Jane M. Beckering also imposed a period of supervised release of 3 years to follow.  Both the 120 months’ incarceration and 3 years’ supervised release are the statutory maximum terms a judge can impose for a felon possessing a firearm. 

          Members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force arrested Favorite on July 1, 2021, following an investigation into his illegal firearm possession and a search of his residence.  At the time, Favorite was a parole absconder and had an active warrant for assault with a deadly weapon stemming from a June 27, 2021, incident involving a firearm.  During the search of Favorite’s bedroom, investigators found a loaded 9mm pistol with 50-round drum magazine attached.  Favorite was prohibited from possessing the firearm because he was previously convicted in 2016 of assault to do great bodily harm and assault with a dangerous weapon.  Favorite pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm on January 13, 2022.  In sentencing Favorite to 120 months’ custody, Judge Beckering expressed concern for Favorite’s “violent history” and “disturbing” conduct, and noted he contributed “to the escalating violence in Benton Harbor.”

          U.S. Attorney Birge said, “My office remains committed to supporting law enforcement task forces that collaborate to address the violent crime plaguing our communities—particularly gun violence.  We will continue to work together to identify and prosecute individuals responsible for driving violent crime in our communities to make neighborhoods safer for everyone.” 

          “For years, this defendant committed violence against the citizens of Benton Harbor and its surrounding communities with impunity,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan.  “I want to thank our partners in the Benton Harbor FBI Safe Streets Task Force for all of their hard work on this investigation and for their efforts to keep our communities safe.”

          This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren F. Biksacky and investigated by the Benton Harbor FBI Safe Streets Task Force. The Safe Streets Task Force includes law enforcement officers from the FBI, Michigan State Police, Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, Benton Township Police Department, Pokagon Band Tribal Police Department, and the Michigan Department of Corrections.


Updated April 28, 2022

Firearms Offenses