2 men who were accused of trying to kidnap a federal agent enter no-contest pleas

Crime Watch

Keisean Rockmore and Adrian Rodriguez Cardenas, file image.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Two men who were accused of an attempted kidnapping during an undercover narcotics investigation pleaded no contest to felony charges Monday.

Keisean Rockmore pleaded no contest to recklessly evading a peace officer and making terroristic threats, and Adrian Rodriguez Cardenas pleaded no contest to conspiracy and drug possession for sale, according to court records.

They’re scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 21.

Charges were dismissed against a third defendant, Nicole Jean January, and it’s unclear what happened to a fourth defendant, who was 14 at the time.

Rockmore and Rodriguez Cardenas were arrested after sheriff’s officials said they tried to kidnap a Drug Enforcement Administration agent during a sting on Merle Haggard Drive the morning of Jan. 19.

A Kern County deputy who was part of the operation intervened and shots were fired, according to sheriff’s officials. No one was hit.

The suspects were chased and arrested in the area of Village Lane and Marsha Street.

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA were working together in the sting near a McDonald’s parking lot on Merle Haggard Drive and Industry Parkway Drive. They met the suspects for a sale of 1,000 pills laced with fentanyl.

According to court documents, a DEA agent leaned into the suspects’ car to make the exchange when the teen tried to grab the cash and pulled a gun. A deputy then drew his gun and moved to pull the agent from the car.

Shots were fired and the suspects sped off. Rockmore admitted to being the driver, and Rodriguez Cardenas told investigators he and Rockmore had planned the robbery, the documents said.

The use of force by the undercover deputy was ruled within department policy.

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