Man guilty of kidnapping store manager in order to steal over 100 guns

BENTON HARBOR, MI – A Michigan man has admitted to kidnapping a sporting goods store manager at gunpoint in a daring attempt to steal over 100 firearms last November. Darnell Bishop, 33, faces life imprisonment after agreeing to a plea deal on Tuesday, which included charges of kidnapping and brandishing a firearm during a violent crime on November 16, 2023, according to the Department of Justice.

Bishop’s brother and accomplice, Dontrell Nance, had previously pleaded guilty to the same charges in April and is set to be sentenced later this month. As part of his plea agreement, Bishop confessed that he and Nance went to the home of the manager of Dunham’s Sports in Benton Harbor, where they handcuffed and blindfolded him at gunpoint. They then forced the manager to provide the code to disable the store’s alarm system.

Once they had the code, the two men proceeded to the sporting goods store. Bishop entered the store and stole two coolers, sunglasses, and 123 pistols, while Nance remained in the car with the store manager. Surveillance footage of the theft was included as evidence in the case.

The stolen firearms, valued at over $100,000, were later recovered by law enforcement, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The quick recovery of the weapons was crucial in preventing them from flooding the streets with illegal firearms.

Mark Totten, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, emphasized the importance of prosecuting individuals who contribute to gun violence in the community. “Darnell Bishop’s brazen crimes, if successful, would have flooded the streets of Benton Harbor and beyond with illegal firearms,” Totten said. He expressed gratitude for the swift investigative work of law enforcement partners that thwarted the criminal scheme.

James Deir, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Detroit Field Division, highlighted the significance of Tuesday’s plea. He noted that armed robberies of Federal Firearms License dealers are a top priority for the ATF and that this case serves as a clear message against illegal firearms trafficking and the victimization of business owners and employees.

Bishop’s sentencing date has yet to be announced.