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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Michigan
For Immediate Release
Mark A. Totten, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-wdmi
Friday, February 10, 2023

Kalamazoo Man Sentenced to 13 Years in Federal Prison for Gun and Drug Trafficking Offenses

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that William Henderson, Jr., 27, of Kalamazoo, Michigan was sentenced to 13 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney also ordered Henderson to spend 4 years on supervised release after his confinement.

“Our message to violent offenders is clear: violence will gain you a new home in federal prison for a long time,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “My office is committed to disrupting the cycle of gun and drug-related violence in our district and communities.”

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An individual holding a firearm alongside an image of the firearm in a bag.

On March 15, 2022, Henderson possessed a loaded .40 caliber pistol in a bag with over 13 grams of cocaine. Shortly before police arrested him, Henderson attended a block party on Woodbury Avenue in Kalamazoo where he openly displayed the firearm to others. As a felon, Henderson was prohibited from possessing firearms.

In February 2022, Cornell Gordon of Kalamazoo was shot three times when an assailant exited a vehicle and began shooting. Police located shell casings at the scene. The government presented evidence connecting the shell casings from that scene to the gun Henderson was arrested with. The government also presented text message evidence recovered from Henderson’s phone discussing his involvement in Gordon’s shooting. After hearing the evidence, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney applied a sentencing cross reference for assault with intent to commit murder.

In announcing Henderson’s sentence, Judge Maloney highlighted that he viewed Henderson as a “risk to the public.” Henderson also had numerous prior criminal convictions, (including prior convictions for carrying concealed weapons, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and controlled substance possession and distribution), which Judge Maloney also considered when imposing the sentence.

This case was investigated through a joint and federal partnership by the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Crime Reduction Team, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

“The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety would like to thank our federal partners for their continued assistance in our focused approach to reduce gun violence,” said Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief David Boysen. “Through this partnership, we are able to identify the most dangerous individuals who are driving the gun violence in Kalamazoo and remove them from our community through federal sanctions. Our community is safer today because Mr. Henderson is in federal custody,” added Boysen.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lauren F. Biksacky as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) played a pivotal role in the evaluation of the firearm and shell casing evidence. NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.

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