GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Mark Curtis, Jr. (26), Jordan Allen (22), and Calvin Hill (25), all of Benton Harbor, were each sentenced to federal prison. Curtis was sentenced to 15 years; Allen was sentenced to 8 years; and Hill was sentenced to 46 months. Following a jury trial in August 2023, a jury convicted each man of being a felon in possession of a firearm. At sentencing, Chief Judge Hala Jarbou found that Curtis possessed his gun in connection with first degree premeditated murder.
“Gun violence is an epidemic here in Michigan and across the country that inflicts immense trauma on our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Totten. “We’ll never prosecute our way out of this epidemic, but accountability is critical. My office is committed to working with community and law enforcement partners to prosecute dangerous offenders.”
Witnesses at trial testified that Hill was feuding with another Benton Harbor man. On the night of September 10, 2022, Curtis, Hill, and Allen met at Hill’s apartment. Investigators found pictures and videos of their guns on Hill’s kitchen table and Hill wiping off rounds of ammunition.
The man that Hill was feuding with was found dead the next morning. He had gunshot wounds to his neck, abdomen, and hand. GPS data from Hill’s Snapchat account showed that he was two blocks north of the victim two minutes before the first 911 call about the shooting. Later that morning, Allen confirmed with another person that the victim had died.
“The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety (BHDPS) works hard every single day to protect our residents from violent crime,” said BHDPS Director Daniel McGinnis. “We appreciate U.S. Attorney Mark Totten’s commitment to the residents of Benton Harbor, as well as our other law enforcement partners who help remove illegal guns from our streets, hold dangerous offenders accountable, and provide safer neighborhoods within our city.”
“While the damage and death caused in this case cannot be undone, our hope is that this sentence brings a sense of justice to all those impacted by this senseless violence,” said Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson of the FBI in Michigan. “We would like to commend our law enforcement partners on the Benton Harbor Safe Streets Task Force for their efforts in bringing closure to this case. The FBI remains committed to removing violent offenders from our streets in order to ensure a safe environment for all Michigan residents.”
This case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide initiative to reduce violent crime. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, and federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement work closely together to identify and prosecute individuals responsible for driving violent crime in our communities in order to make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Individuals with information or concerns about violent crime or firearms offenses should contact local law enforcement. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, visit: https://www.justice.gov/psn.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Federal Investigation, the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, the Benton Township Police Department, the Michigan State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) played a pivotal role in the evaluation of the firearm and shell casing evidence. NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.