Desoto County News

DeSoto DA task force leads to arrest and indictment of former police officer

Photo: DeSoto County District Attorney Matthew Barton explains the indictment of former Southaven police officer Tony Herring during a news conference. (Bob Bakken/

April 15 UPDATE: Herring was released on bond on Friday, April 12. A new court date in the case was not immediately set.


A former Southaven police officer has been arrested and is charged with conspiracy and felony auto theft while an officer. A DeSoto County grand jury came down with the indictment against Tony Herring, when presented with the charges by DeSoto County District Attorney Matthew Barton. Herring was arrested in Horn Lake while the grand jury was still in session and is charged with stealing a 2019 Infiniti Q60 late last year. He is also accused of helping steal other vehicles as a “lookout” for those actually stealing them.   

In announcing the indictment late Wednesday afternoon, April 10, Barton told DeSoto County News during a news conference that Herring’s actions took place while he was employed by the Southaven Police Department.  

“He was facilitating the theft of vehicles in our community and helping criminals who were coming here to break the law and then hiding in Memphis after they’d steal cars,” Barton said.  “Southaven police were able to discover the scheme and they quickly and appropriately terminated the individual.”  

Barton said the arrest was significant as it was the first indictment with his office’s new Public Corruption Unit

“We wanted to bring it to this administration because we believe in transparency in government,”  Barton said. “We also formed a task force to handle priority arrests safely and quickly so that the community would not be harmed. This is one of those times where things worked according to plan.”

Barton said the arrest was made Wednesday and was done using what he termed a “secret” indictment. 

“We skipped all of the lower court proceedings and went straight to the grand jury,” the District Attorney said. “The incident he was indicted for occurred in the latter part of last year. I then took some of the investigation to put all of the pieces together where we felt we had a case that would hold up against any challenges.”  

Barton said the start of the Public Corruption Unit and this particular arrest were coincidental. Herring is believed to be part of a string of car thefts.

“When I indict someone, I indict them because I can prove beyond a reasonable doubt and I can take it to court and feel good about it,” Barton said.  

Herring is in the DeSoto County Adult Detention Center, but bond information was not immediately available.  

Southaven Police Chief Brent Vickers said his department would issue a statement about the arrest within the next day or so. However, Mississippi Department of Public Safety Sean Tindell did issue a statement in response to the arrest and indictment.  

“Thank you to the Southaven Police Department, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and all other assisting agencies for their work in the apprehension of the ex-police officer who is believed to be responsible for assisting with carjackings in the North Mississippi area,” said Commissioner Sean Tindell of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. “Their professionalism and dedication to upholding the law and ensuring public safety are truly commendable.”