Sureno gang members are charged with killing three rival gang members, shooting at two more between 2010 and 2017
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – An eight-year investigation into three gang related homicides and a fourth shooting culminated with the arraignment of two suspects this week.
Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar announced the arrests 29-year-old Noel Herrera and 33-year-old Fabio Delreal during a press conference on March 13 at the Visalia Emergency Communication Center on Burke Street. Herrera and Delreal are both known Sureno gang members and the three victims were all active gang members or affiliated with the rival Norteno gang.
“We are relentless with what we’ve done with gangs,” Chief Salazar said. “This community came together and said we are not going to tolerate that in our town. It’s an ongoing community effort not to let these people affect our quality of life.”
Herrera was arrested in connection with all four shootings spanning from 2010 to 2017. On Jan. 9, 2010, 26-year-old Diego Lupercio was shot and killed in the area of Giddings and Elowin streets at 9:20 p.m. On April 24, 2014, 25-year-old Larry Knight III was shot and killed while walking in the area of Linwood Street and Tulare Avenue at 9:50 p.m.
On Feb. 15, 2017, shots were fired from a vehicle at two victims in the area of Feemster and Watson at 1:30 p.m. The victims were not injured.
On Feb. 18, 2017, 21-year-old Eduardo Ceballos and another victim were standing in front of a residence in the 1700 block of N. Leslie St. At 11:25 p.m., a vehicle stopped in front of the residence and one of the occupants of the vehicle fired a gun at the victims and fled. Ceballos died from the gunshot wounds while the other victim survived his injuries.
CHP officers pulled over Herrera on Feb. 19, 2017 and found he had a firearm. CHP notified detectives with VPD’s Violent Crimes Unit who sent the gun to the Department of Justice’s forensics lab in Fresno. The gun was linked to the Feb. 15, 2017 shooting as well as the murder of Ceballos on Feb. 18, 2017. The vehicle Herrera was driving also matched the description of the vehicle in these two cases as well. Delreal was identified as the driver in the 2014 and is only being charged in connection with the murder of Knight.
“Homicide cases are more difficult in nature,” Chief Salazar said in regards to the year between Herrera’s arrest and the announcement. “Especially in murder cases, it is difficult to find witnesses to corroborate information. More recently we finally had collaboration from witnesses to help get to that point.”
District Attorney Tim Ward filed the six-page complaint against the two suspects in Tulare County Superior Court on Jan. 22. Both Herrera and Delreal were already in serving sentences at state facilities and were both transferred to Tulare County on March 12 to face their charges. Herrera is being charged with three counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide and other gang related crimes including enhancements and conspiracy. He was serving a state prison sentence for a gun possession conviction. Delreal is being charged with one count of gang related homicide. He was serving time at Pleasant Valley State Prison for a gun possession conviction. All crimes are believed to be gang related. Ward said both men were expected to be arraigned on March 13, which happened after press time, and that both men would be eligible for life sentences without the possibility of parole.
“No victim was forgotten and no voice was forgotten,” Ward said. “This has been a ceaseless effort to make sure justice is brought forth.”