A career criminal with drug convictions and suspected ties to prostitution has been living in a home owned by state Rep. Linda Stewart that was the target of a federal raid Wednesday.
Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agents searched the four-bedroom home on Barcelona Street and found a gun and drugs.
Stewart, an Orlando Democrat, does not live at the residence. But her daughter, Amanda Endress, does, authorities said.
When asked by the Orlando Sentinel if Endress lived at the home, Stewart responded via text: "I have done everything as a landlord in my power to get rid of these squatters. As far as my daughter is concerned, she had no drugs she was not part of this and they sent her home with me."
Endress was not arrested. About 10 other people were in the home during the raid. Details about the investigation weren't released. One of the targets was arrested: Darrell Wayne Roby, a roughly 400-pound man who was previously arrested on charges of injuring a deputy.
On Wednesday in Orlando federal court, HSI Special Agent Anthony Ojeda said investigators found a gun under a bed during the search and Roby admitted the weapon was his.
Roby, who is prohibited from having a gun because he is a felon, said he bought the weapon from a prostitute, records said.
The gun was stolen.
Roby, who has dozens of prior arrests, is slated to serve nearly two years in prison in a pending state case.
In September, Roby was arrested after he pushed an undercover deputy into a sharp object while deputies were checking out a drug tip in a neighborhood near Orlando International Airport.
At that time, authorities said Roby's Volusia Drive home had been the center of attention because of drug and prostitution activity.
When detectives went to the house, they saw drugs, cash and eight women in their teens and 20s.
Because of the history of prostitution calls at that house, federal agents launched their own investigation.
Records show the Sheriff's Office has been to Stewart's Barcelona Street home three times since Dec. 19. Twice, deputies made an arrest there on probation-violation charges: One stemmed from a stolen-property-trafficking case and the other from a drug case.
Meanwhile, Stewart said she was in the process of evicting the renters from the 1,710-square-foot home, and her daughter had gone to the property to make sure there was nothing damaged.
"I was very suspicious about what was going on there," Stewart said. "It was not acceptable to me."
"I needed them out of there," Stewart said. "There was so many people in there I couldn't believe it."
Stewart, a former Orange County Commissioner who is in her first legislative term, faces re-election this fall.
So far the oft-outspoken Democrat most often has championed education and environmental issues.
As for Wednesday's raid, Stewart said she recently put an eviction notice on the door and enlisted a lawyer.