Two men are in jail for three gang-related murders going back several years, Visalia police said Tuesday.
They could face the death penalty or life without parole if convicted.
Noel Herrera, 29, has been charged with three counts of murder, and Fabio Del Real, 33, faces one count of murder.
Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar said the break in the case happened Feb 19, 2017, the day after one of the slayings, when the CHP notified Visalia police that an officer doing a traffic stop had found a felon in possession of a gun. The gun was tested and found to be the murder weapon in the homicide and used in an attempted murder.
The murders happened in 2010, 2014 and last year, Visalia police said.
The suspects are Sureño gang members and the victims are associated with the Norteño gang, Salazar said.
About 9:20 p.m. Jan. 9, 2010, victim Diego Lupercio, 26, was shot and killed near Giddings Street and Elowin Avenue. Herrera pulled the trigger, police allege.
About 9:50 a.m. April 24, 2014, Larry Knight III, 25, was gunned down while walking near Tulare Avenue and Linwood Street. Herrera pulled the trigger and Del Real was the driver, police said.
About 11:30 p.m. Feb. 18, 2017, Eduardo Ceballos and another person were at a party standing outside a home in the 1700 block of North Leslie Street when a car drove up, words were exchanged and Ceballos was shot and killed. Herrera opened fire, police said.
The other person was shot but survived.
Both Herrera and Del Real were already in state prison for being felons in possession of a gun when police solved the cases, Salazar said. They’re now in the Tulare County Jail awaiting prosecution.
In addition to the three murders, Herrera is charged with attempted murder and gang-related crimes.
He and Del Real are charged with the special circumstance of drive-by murder, and Herrera is charged with the special circumstance of multiple murders.