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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Jury Convicts Man for Racketeering Conspiracy Involving Murder

NORFOLK, Va. – A federal jury convicted a Portsmouth man today on charges of a racketeering conspiracy that included the murder of 23-year-old Delante Eley.

Rashaun Taylor, aka “Diablo”, 32, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, discharge of a firearm resulting in death, felon in possession of a firearm, and distribution of heroin.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Taylor was a local leader of the Nine Trey Gangsters (NTG), a gang affiliated with the United Blood Nation. On March 11, 2014, after a series of incidents between Delante Eley and members of Taylor’s gang, Taylor followed Eley to his grandparents’ home, where Taylor shot and killed Eley. Two days later, Taylor and other NTG members were stopped by police while armed with a high-powered Romanian-made semi-automatic rifle. Portsmouth Police detectives executed a search warrant on Taylor’s house and recovered gang paraphernalia and his cell phone. The FBI analyzed Taylor’s phone, which had been turned off for the two hours surrounding the murder, and found that nearly two hundred calls placed between the time of the murder and the traffic stop had been deleted. A confidential informant later videotaped a gang meeting led by Taylor, and several days later Taylor was overheard by the FBI and Portsmouth Police via a wire transmitter admitting to the murder.

Taylor faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison when sentenced on May 20. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation Billy Club. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program 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.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and Angela Greene, Chief of Portsmouth Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John F. Butler, Andrew C. Bosse, and Joseph E. DePadilla are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:19-cr-36.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated February 20, 2020