Authorities alleged the five were found with drugs and paraphernalia to package marijuana. and will be charged with drug smuggling.
Officials with the attorney general's office in Baja California alleged the three arrested Wednesday participated in the May 7 killing of police agents Víctor Francisco López López, Raul Inzunza Domínguez and Rodolfo Camarena Medel.
All three were gunned down assassination style and left in a canal ditch near Mexicali
The slayings reportedly occurred after the agents checked a vehicle May 7 on Fraccionamiento Jardines del Lago, a street south of the city.
The agents were reportedly seen by a man linked to the drug- and immigrant-smuggling ring.
Authorities said the man, not realizing the three men he saw were police agents, thought the agents were looking to kill him. He called another individual thought to be part of the smuggling ring. It was that person who ordered the agents be killed, authorities allege. Authorities allege Cárdenas López was the man ordered to kill the agents.
Cárdenas López reportedly called another group of people and they arrived in two vehicles.
The agents were disarmed, placed in a car and taken to a canal, where they were killed, according to investigators.
Before they were killed, authorities allege, Cárdenas López realized the three were police agents.
He allegedly again called the individual who ordered the hits to ask if the agents should be killed and that individual ordered the agents executed, authorities said.
Three guns were reportedly used to kill the agents — a 9 mm pistol, a .45, and a .223 caliber revolver.
During the arrests Wednesday, police officers found a 9 mm pistol, that according to investigators, was used to kill one of the agents.
The three suspects are expected to be brought before both a state and a federal judge on the murder charges and charges connected to drug smuggling.
The Mexicali attorney general's office reported there are five others thought to be involved in the killing of the agents who have not yet been taken into custody. The five are considered fugitives.
Baja California Attorney General Juan Manuel Salazar Pimentel blamed Mexicali's media for its coverage of the arrests, stating early stories allowed the fugitives to flee.