Staff Report

TAMPA — A North Port man who has a history of criminal activity in the region is heading back to prison — this time for 40 years in federal incarceration on a variety of drug and weapons charges.

Ashanti Roundtree, 44, was running a “trap house” in the 200 block of Granada Boulevard on the edge of North Port in Warm Mineral Springs and unincorporated Sarasota County.

He was convicted in April of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, along with and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

His prior convictions include armed robbery, drugs and weapons charges. He was apprehended in a November 2011 drive-by shooting in Port Charlotte that injured three people in a car following an argument at Boomers night club.

He was also arrested for battery for pistol-whipping and robbing a man in 2015, which is when authorities said Roundtree was operating the trap house.

Between October 2014 and Feb. 26, 2015, Roundtree ran the house in North Port.

“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),” the federal government stated in a news release Thursday. “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.”

The Middle District of Florida, based in Tampa, said he collected money or sexual favors for the drugs.

The news release said “Roundtree used violence, fear, and intimidation to maintain his position as leader of the conspiracy.”

He used a firearm as protection along with pointing it at people and pistol-whipping one person, it said.

A warrant on Feb. 26, 2015 ended Roundtree’s work at the trap house, officials said.

“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,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary said in the news release.

It was a combined investigation between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, North Port Police Department and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

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