Grand Junction: Man gets 18 years for 18th felony |

Grand Junction: Man gets 18 years for 18th felony

Paul Shockley
Grand Junction, CO, Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado ” A 66-year-old man convicted of being a felon who illegally kept a stash of guns ” who’s also accused of dealing meth out of his apartment before allegedly plotting to kill two people while behind bars ” told a Grand Junction, Colorado judge Tuesday morning he looks forward to being with family again.

Exactly when that will happen isn’t clear.

“I’m sorry for the crimes I have committed,” a somber Robert Hakel told District Judge Brian Flynn.

“I just want to get this behind me so I can be with my wife again.”

Hakel, convicted last fall of his 18th felony in 18 years, was sentenced by Flynn Tuesday to 18 years in prison related to a 2008 gun case.

Flynn noted Hakel’s age and nine prior felony convictions for distribution of cocaine in 1990, in saying Hakel’s “unlikely to be rehabilitated.”

Hakel was convicted in a jury trial in November 2008 on nine counts of possession of a firearm by a previous offender.

While Hakel was jailed last April, Drug Task Force officers raided his Grand Junction apartment and seized an assortment of 15 rifles and handguns, according to an arrest affidavit.

Hakel was being held at the Mesa County Jail at the time on $300,000 bond, which was after his March arrest on charges he sold large quantities of meth out of his apartment.

Hakel has pleaded not guilty and still faces trial on the drug case, as well as separate allegations he illegally owned a .50-caliber rifle.

Hakel referred to the rifle in a letter he wrote last summer to his nephew in which he raised the prospect of murdering a Drug Task Force officer who was involved in his drug arrest.

“The one gun they missed is the deadliest of them all,” Hakel wrote in the letter mailed in June 2008. “I’ve got the .50 caliber assassin rifle very safely hidden.”

The rifle was recovered by a Grand Junction police detective in June 2008 ” a local man told authorities Hakel gave him the weapon to “hold” in the fall of 2007.

Hakel’s nephew, meanwhile, turned the letter over to prosecutors.

Hakel was charged earlier this month with two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder for allegedly targeting his nephew and a former drug associate ” now both witnesses against Hakel ” in a murder-for-hire plot.

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