Three Benton Harbor men sentenced to prison for firearm possession

PHOTO: Left to Right - Mark Curtis, Jr., Calvin Hill, and Jordan Allen.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Three Benton Harbor men in their 20s were sentenced to prison today, each convicted of being a felon possessing a firearm, one of which was connected to a premeditated, first-degree murder in September of last year. 

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten announced that 26-year-old Mark Curtis, Jr. (15 years), 22-year-old Jordan Allen (eight years), and 25-year-old Calvin Hill (46 months) were each sentenced to federal prison on Wednesday.

“Gun violence is an epidemic here in Michigan and across the country that inflicts immense trauma on our communities,” said 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.”

Following a 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 a murder.

According to the Justice Department, witnesses at trial testified Hill was feuding with another Benton Harbor man and on the night of Sept. 10, 2023, 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.

Authorities say the man that Hill was feuding with was found dead the next morning with gunshot wounds to his neck, abdomen, and hand and that 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.”

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