Benton Harbor man pleads guilty to role in Dunham's Sports gun theft and kidnapping

Darnell Bishop

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten announced 33-year-old Darnell Bishop, of Benton Harbor, pled guilty to kidnapping and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Bishop now faces a maximum 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 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 with his codefendant, Dontrell Nance, for the theft of 123 handguns from the Benton Harbor Dunham’s Sports.

Court documents state as part of his plea agreement, Bishop admitted he and Nance kidnapped the store manager from outside the manager’s home using a pistol, took him to a second location, and convinced the manager to give them the store's alarm code.

Bishop said he then went to the store and stole 123 pistols, which he took away in two large coolers.

Law enforcement has since recovered all 123 firearms.

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.

“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.”

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