NORFOLK, Va. – Two Portsmouth men were arrested Thursday for their alleged roles in a racketeering conspiracy that included the 2014 death of a 23-year-old man.
On March 6, a federal grand jury indicted 31-year-old Rashaun Taylor, also known as “Diablo,” and 28-year-old Timothy Sawyer-House, also known as “Trouble,” on 13 counts of 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.
The indictment says Taylor and Sawyer-House were members of a Portsmouth-based set of the Nine Trey Gangsters, a gang affiliated with the United Blood Nation. It alleges that on March 11, 2014, after a series of incidents between 23-year-old Delante Eley and members of Taylor’s gang, Taylor and Sawyer-House followed Eley to his home, where Taylor shot and killed Eley.
Two days later, Taylor, Sawyer-House and others tried to rob a drug dealer of cash, heroin, cocaine and marijuana while armed with a high-powered Romanian-made semi-automatic rifle.
The indictment also alleges that the two suspects sold heroin and fentanyl.
News 3 spoke to Eley’s family after his death. Eley left behind a daughter, who was 5 years old at the time, and a fiancée, Shana Stoner.
Eley and Stoner were supposed to get married that summer.
Taylor would be eligible for the death penalty or a mandatory life sentence if convicted of the murder charge. If Sawyer-House is convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison.