For Immediate Release
North Port Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Heroin, Firearm Violations
Tampa, Florida –U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew today sentenced Ashanti Roundtree (44, North Port) to 40 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Due to his prior convictions for armed robbery and firearms and narcotics offenses, he qualified for an increased penalty as an Armed Career Criminal.
A federal jury found Roundtree guilty on April 4, 2019.
According to testimony presented at trial, from an unknown date through October 2014, and continuing through February 26, 2015, Roundtree directed the illegal narcotics distribution activities at a “trap house” located at 200 Granada Boulevard, in North Port, Florida. Roundtree supplied drugs to the residents of the house, who then sold the drugs to others on Roundtree’s behalf, purchased the drugs for their own use, or used them (with the promise of paying Roundtree later). Along with supplying the residents with heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, spice, marijuana, and a variety of prescription pills for sale or personal consumption, Roundtree supervised the sale of the drugs, including setting their price and the hours of sale. He also collected the proceeds from the various drug transactions and participated in drug transactions by either selling drugs directly to customers or giving the drugs in exchange for sexual favors.
During the illegal activities, Roundtree used violence, fear, and intimidation to maintain his position as leader of the conspiracy. While at the trap house, he commonly carried a firearm for protection. Additionally, co-conspirators and others witnessed Roundtree pistol-whip an individual with the gun, and point it at others. As a previously convicted felon, Roundtree is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
On February 26, 2015, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the trap house and recovered a loaded firearm. Forensic testing confirmed Roundtree’s DNA on the firearm and ammunition magazine. Agents also recovered an assortment of controlled substances, including heroin, marijuana, cocaine, prescription pills and drug paraphernalia.
“This sentencing represents ATF’s expertise in firearms investigations and is an example of how our law enforcement partnerships solve these unnecessary crimes that negatively impact the lives of the citizens that reside in the neighborhoods,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Port Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael C. Baggé-Hernández and Kaitlin R. O’Donnell.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.