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Michigan man pleads guilty to kidnapping store manager before stealing 123 guns from retailer: DOJ

A Michigan man faces life in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping the manager of a sporting goods store with his brother so they could steal 123 pistols from the business.

A Michigan man pleaded guilty to kidnapping the manager of a sporting goods store at gunpoint during a scheme to steal more than 100 guns from the business last November.

Darnell Bishop, 33, faces life in prison after agreeing to a plea deal on Tuesday that involved him pleading guilty to kidnapping and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence that took place on Nov. 16, 2023, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

Dontrell Nance, Bishop’s brother and accomplice, pleaded guilty to the same charges in April and will be sentenced later this month, the DOJ said.


As part of the deal, Bishop admitted to authorities that he and Nance went to the home of the manager of Dunham’s Sports in Benton Harbor and handcuffed and blindfolded him at gunpoint before taking him elsewhere and forcing him to provide the code that disables the store’s alarm.

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The two men then went to the sporting goods store where Bishop said he stole two coolers, sunglasses and 123 pistols while Nance stayed in the car with the store manager, according to The Associated Press, which added that video of the theft was included in evidence.

The guns, which the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined to be worth more than $100,000, have since been recovered by law enforcement.

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U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten said his office is “laser focused” on prosecuting the people “driving gun violence in our communities.”

“Darnell Bishop’s brazen crimes, if successful, would have flooded the streets of Benton Harbor and beyond with illegal firearms,” Totten said. “I’m grateful to our law enforcement partners for their swift investigative work that put a stop to this criminal scheme.”

Detroit Field Division Special Agent in Charge James Deir said armed robberies of Federal Firearms License dealers are “one of ATF’s top priorities” and Tuesday’s plea was “the best-case scenario” for dealers and their employees.

“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,” Deir said.

Bishop’s sentencing date has not yet been revealed.

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