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Press Release

Darnell Bishop Pleads Guilty To Role In Benton Harbor Dunham’s Store Handgun Theft

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

Faces potential life sentence for kidnapping of Dunham’s manager


          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Darnell Bishop, 33, of Benton Harbor, pled guilty to kidnapping and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Bishop faces a maximum possible penalty of life in prison.

          “My office is laser focused on those few individuals driving gun violence in our communities, including active shooters and gun traffickers,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Darnell Bishop’s brazen crimes, if successful, would have flooded the streets of Benton Harbor and beyond with illegal firearms. I’m grateful to our law enforcement partners for their swift investigative work that put a stop to this criminal scheme.”

          Bishop was charged along with his codefendant, Dontrell Nance, for the theft of 123 handguns from the Benton Harbor Dunham’s Sports. As part of his plea agreement, Bishop admitted that he and Nance kidnapped the Dunham’s manager from outside the manager’s home using a pistol, took him to a second location, and convinced the manager to provide the alarm code for Dunham’s. Bishop said he then went to the store and stole 123 pistols, which he carried away in two large coolers. Law enforcement has since recovered all the firearms.   

Image of two large coolers filled with stolen pistols.

          Nance previously pled guilty to kidnapping and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 22, 2024.

          “Today’s plea is the best-case scenario for our industry partners and their innocent employees. Armed robberies of FFLs are one of ATF’s top priorities,” said Detroit Field Division Special Agent in Charge James Deir. “The message continues to be clear:  There is no place in our community for illegal firearms traffickers and those who choose to target and victimize business owners and employees who are just trying to provide for their families.”

          “Today's guilty plea confirms that justice has been served, and Mr. Bishop will be held accountable for the heinous crimes committed against the victim and the victim's place of work,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “I commend the investigative efforts and achievements of the FBI's Benton Harbor Safe Streets Task Force and our local, state, and federal partners for their dedication to this case. Nevertheless, our daily work continues to contribute to the safety of our communities.”         

          This case was investigated by the Benton Charter Township Police Department, Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police, ATF, and FBI. 


Media note: The previous press releases, complaint, and press conference can be viewed here, here, and here.

Updated July 2, 2024

Firearms Offenses