The Visalia community waited for months to learn the identities of the people thought to be responsible for the shooting deaths of Jose Hernandez-Peña, 19, Isaiah Rule, 18, and Blake Medeiros, 19, in May 2020.
On Thursday they got their answer and more.
The months long investigation resulted in more than two dozen arrests, including the Visalia homicide suspects, and the seizure of weapons and drugs.
Here is a breakdown of law enforcement's efforts.
Mark Aceves, 20: Murder (three counts), special allegation that he was armed with a .40-caliber firearm
Cesar Lopez, 19: Murder (three counts), special allegation that he was armed with a .40-caliber firearm
Abraham Molina, 20: Murder (three counts), special allegation that he intentionally discharged a firearm, which caused great bodily injury and death.
The men could face the death penalty or life without parole, District Attorney Tim Ward said. However, with fluctuating sentencing laws, it's unclear what the defendants face if found guilty of the deadly shooting.
"Justice is complicated in California right now," Ward said. "...What do we tell these families in the months to come and families situated like them all across the state."
Ward pointed the finger north.
"Let these families remind the lawmakers in Sacramento that decisions made in the Capitol have real consequences, and they cause impossible conversations with families who have been impacted by the most horrific crimes imaginable," Ward said. "Victims deserve truth in sentencing and in California it doesn't exist, and we need to stop pretending that it does."
Operation Trailblazer suspects and defendants
In addition to the homicide suspects, Tulare County prosecutors filed a separate compliant against four people arrested on Thursday. Those suspects are believed to have helped the three Visalia homicide suspects get rid of evidence.
Detectives also believe that local Sureño gang members and associates were importing guns from Texas and were paying for the weapons with methamphetamine and cocaine from drug trafficking organizations in Mexico.
Laura Araiza (charged with accessary after the fact, owning or operating a chop shop)
Bryan Loza (charged with accessory after the fact, owning or operating a chop shop)
Jesus Ramirez (charged with accessary after the fact, owning or operating a chop shop)
Ethan Schelling (charged with accessory after the fact)
Three minors were also arrested by Visalia detectives during the operation. Additional arrests are expected to be made by law enforcement agencies in Oregon and Texas in connection with this investigation.
More arrests and charges could follow.
What was seized and when?
Sept. 25: Glock 27
Oct. 12: Eight firearms
Oct. 15: Five firearms
Oct. 18: 29.3 grams of methamphetamine
Oct. 23: Glock 43
Oct. 24: Taurus G2C
Oct. 26: 20 pounds of cocaine, one firearm
Nov. 3: One firearm
Nov. 9: Three P80 ghost guns
Nov. 10: Three firearms, 5 pounds marijuana, 12 magazines
Nov. 10: Four firearms, cash, concentrated cannabis, ammunition, vape pens, wax
Nov. 13: Semi-auto Glock
Nov. 30: Ruger semi-auto
Dec. 17: Semi-auto handgun
After a four-month investigation, participating law enforcement agencies say they prevented at least five violent crimes and seized 56 firearms from Sureño gang members.
In total, detectives authored 90 search warrants, conducted 60 interviews, searched over 220 digital accounts, and followed up on numerous anonymous tips.
A reward of $50,000 is still available to material witnesses who can provide investigators and prosecutors with direct knowledge of the triple homicide. Anyone with information is urged to call the Visalia Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit at 713-4234.
This article originally appeared on Visalia Times-Delta: Here's who was arrested and what was seized during Operation Trailblazer