Firearms Trafficker Pleads Guilty to 27 Counts Related to Unlicensed Firearms Sales and Possession of Illegal Weapons
FRESNO, Calif. — Keisean Rockmore, 27, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, on Jan. 19, 2021, Rockmore drove co-defendant Adrian Rodriguez Cardenas, 21, also of Bakersfield, and a third passenger to a fast-food restaurant parking lot in Bakersfield to meet with and sell to a customer 1,000 counterfeit OxyContin/oxycodone pills containing fentanyl for the negotiated price of $2,900. During the meeting, when the customer asked the vehicle occupants whether they had the pills, Rockmore motioned towards a bag on his lap and stated that he had it. At least one of the vehicle occupants possessed a firearm during the meeting, which he pointed at the customer when a dispute arose during the transaction. Rockmore then fled in his vehicle with Cardenas and the third passenger to a nearby apartment complex, where they exited the vehicle and attempted to elude pursuing law enforcement officers. After law enforcement officers found and arrested Rockmore, Cardenas and the other accomplice at the apartment complex, they discovered nearby a loaded firearm and more than 50 counterfeit OxyContin/oxycodone pills.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher D. Baker and Justin J. Gilio are prosecuting the case.
Rockmore is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on April 29, 2022. Rockmore faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Cardenas is charged with additional counts of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and distribution of fentanyl. The charges against him are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.