NORFOLK, Va. — Two Portsmouth men were arrested Thursday for their alleged roles in a racketeering conspiracy that included the murder of 23-year-old Delante Eley.
A federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment on March 6 for 31-year-old Rashaun Taylor, aka "Diablo," and 28-year-oldTimothy Sawyer-House, aka "Trouble."
The charges on the indictment included racketeering conspiracy, attempted robbery, felon in possession of a firearm and distribution of heroin and fentanyl. Taylor was also charged with the capital-eligible offense of murder in aid of racketeering and use of a firearm resulting in death.
According to the indictment, the two men were allegedly members of a Portsmouth-based set of the Nine Trey Gangsters, a gang affiliated with the United Blood Nation.
According to court documents, after a series of incidents between Eley and members of Taylor's gang, Taylor and Sawyer-House followed the 23-year-old home to the 4000 block of Ketch Drive on March 11, 2014 where Taylor shot and killed Eley.
According to a family member, Eley was shot in the face.
The indictment alleges that two days after the shooting, Taylor, Sawyer-House and others armed themselves with a high-powered Romanian-made semi-automatic rifle and tried to rob a drug dealer for cash, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
Taylor and Sawyer-House also sold heroin and fentanyl according to the indictment.
Taylor would be eligible for the death penalty or a mandatory life sentence if convicted for the charged murder.
If Sawyer-House is convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison.
The case was part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation Billy Club. The program's mission is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation's illegal drug supply.