A federal grand jury handed down an indictment against a former employee of the Kanawha County Assessor's Office alleging she had drugs, guns and cash in the Charleston apartment she shared with her three children.
Chandra Kay Ross, 29, of Lawndale Lane, was charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number and possession of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.
Detectives with the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation searched Ross' home July 18.
She had just started full time at the office, though she had worked there part-time for a couple of years, said Steve Sluss, in-house counsel for the Assessor's Office. He called her a "pretty decent employee."
He said they were aware of her 2010 arrest for child abuse, where she was accused of beating her son with a belt. He said it did not show up on her background check but said she was not convicted of that offense.
Her last day was July 18, when deputies escorted her from the office.
"Her job here was to process the deeds and things that we get from the county clerk's office," Sluss said. "She didn't handle anything confidential. When they searched her desk here, they didn't find anything to indicate that she'd been doing anything wrong here."
Investigators found $1,701 in Ross' purse and $26,825 in her apartment, according to a federal complaint. They also found 3.5 ounces of heroin and three handguns, a stolen Remington .45-caliber, a Taurus .22-caliber with an obliterated serial number, and an A.A. Arms 9 mm.
She faces five years to life in prison and a $1,500,000 fine if convicted.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Loew is handling prosecution. Ross remains at South Central Regional Jail.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.