CARMEL, Ind. – A married couple was charged after the Carmel Police Department served a search warrant uncovering a massive drug operation at their home.

Court documents revealed officers assigned to the Drug Task Force conducted surveillance of the home off the 9700 block of Kittrell Drive on July 31 around 2:30 p.m. after a search warrant was granted.

Investigators said they were searching for any possible drugs, illegal and stolen firearms. Joseph O. Herring, Jr., 37, and Ke Yon Herring, 36, reportedly lived at the home with seven other kids.

Joseph Herring Jr booking photo (Hamilton County Jail)

Police saw Mr. Herring leave out with one of his teenage kids and then two separate officers in unmarked police cars activated their lights and attempted to stop Mr. Herring’s car, according to the probable cause.

Officers said Mr. Herring failed to stop and began to flee police, driving down 96th Street, hitting speeds over 75 mph in a 35-mph speed zone.

Police then terminated the pursuit after Mr. Herring approached I-465 and Keystone Avenue.

About 10 minutes later, investigators said they served the warrant at the home, knocking and announcing police presence. Officers said they encountered Mrs. Herring at the door.

She was on the phone when officers entered but hung up before being arrested by police.

From their search, police detailed the evidence recovered from the property. They said the following was found:

  • over 300 grams of suspected cocaine;
  • about 12 pounds of suspected marijuana;
  • suspected Butane hash oil;
  • methadone;
  • MDMA (ecstasy);
  • oxycodone;
  • methamphetamine;
  • 25 firearms: one missing serial number, four confirmed stolen;
  • about $30K cash;
  •  scales;
  • baggies;
  • and a press.

In an interview with police, Mrs. Herring reportedly told investigators that all seven children lived at the home and were either at school or daycare during the time officers served the warrant.

Court records also said Mrs. Herring explained that she had “no knowledge” of her husband’s drug dealing.

Ke Yong Herring booking photo (Hamilton County Jail)

Mrs. Herring was initially found with drywall dust and dirt on her clothes and she claimed it was from doing laundry in the room before officers arrived, according to the probable cause.

The woman later admitted that her husband called her after evading police and instructed her to hide a black bag of drugs from the floor to the attic in his closet. Officers stated the attic contained a large portion of marijuana and cocaine.

After detailing just some of the family’s bills including rent and car payments totaling nearly $2,900 per month, investigators were skeptical of how the remaining bills came out of Mrs. Herring’s $45K a year salary.

Investigators explained that $45K is about $3,750 a month before taxes.

Mr. Herring was later arrested on Sept. 27. He received 26 charges and Mrs. Herring received 19 charges for a total of 45 between the couple.

Court records indicated they were charged with several counts of dealing narcotics, marijuana and cocaine; several counts of possession of marijuana, cocaine, hash oil and meth; neglect of a dependent; obstruction of justice; and maintaining a common nuisance.

Their nextdoor neighbors said the house could be a nuisance at times, but they never expected this.

”It’s just shocking, eve though you know there is something suspicious going on, you don’t expect it to be at that level,” said Dennis Lunsford, who lives across the street.

Lunsford saw the search happening on July 31, so did Jimmy Ogle, who lived right next door to the Herrings.

”All the cop cars, no sirens or anything, they just pulled up,” Ogle said. “They eventually pulled the wife out and arrested her but he got away.”

Ogle and Lunsford both said this isn’t the first time officers have come to the house with guns drawn.

Back in August of 2022, Carmel Police confirm they arrested 21-year-old Josiah Herring at the same address for a murder charge out of Ohio.

”There were dozens of unmarked vehicles, there were dozens of cop car, there was a SWAT vehicle parked in the front yard about 10 foot from the door,” Lunsford said. “Everybody had their long guns out, they were making an announcement for him to come out and surrender.”

Mr. Herring also received additional charges for resisting law enforcement with a vehicle; unlawful carry of a handgun; and possession of an altered firearm.

A jury trial was scheduled for Jan. 8, 2024, for Mrs. Herring’s case. Discovery was filed in Mr. Herring’s case on Sept. 22.