Two men from Albuquerque, N.M., may have been plotting to kill singer Justin Bieber and his bodyguard, a New Mexico state police investigation has revealed.
Mark Staake, 41, and his nephew Tanner Ruane, 23, were arrested in late November, New Mexico state police said in a release, after an investigation found they might be plotting to commit murder.
"Through follow-up investigation it was discovered that Justin Bieber may have also been a target of the murder plot," wrote Lt. Robert McDonald in an emailed statement.
The alleged plot was revealed to police by Dana Martin, 45, a convicted killer who says he hired two men for a hit while in state prison.
According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant, Martin wanted all four victims, including Bieber, strangled with a paisley tie, which is similar to how Martin had killed his victims.
The affidavit suggests the first two victims were to be castrated — with a total of $2,500 US paid to Staake per testicle. However, it does not say the third victim, believed to be Bieber, was to be castrated, as was previously reported.
Martin requested the two men kill four people in two separate attacks, according to the affidavit. According to the document, the ultimate target was a victim referred to as "J.B," whose bodyguard "M.B." would have to be killed first.
Martin told investigators he wanted J.B. killed because he "has a measure of fame" and Martin had "become infatuated" with him.
Martin has a tattoo of J.B. on his leg and attempted to contact him several times, but became upset when J.B. did not respond, the affidavit says.
The affidavit said this perceived slight and Martin's belief he was a nobody in prison led him to start plotting to kidnap and murder J.B.
Martin told investigators "he was seeking a measure of notoriety so that there would be people outside of prison who would know who he ... was."
The Canadian singer's management, asked to comment on the reports, released a statement saying only that they take "every precaution to protect and insure the safety of Justin [Bieber] and his fans."
Police in Vermont originally arrested Staake on Nov. 19 for violating probation. He is also wanted in New Mexico on two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree and two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, Vermont police told CBC News.
Staake and Ruane "are being investigated for their part in the criminal conspiracy to locate and murder two individuals in Vermont," according to the Vermont police statement.
The New Mexico affidavit explains the first two victims Martin ordered to be killed were located in Vermont, but does not provide any identities.
The New Mexico Corrections Department has confirmed it is in the process of extraditing Staake to New Mexico, but Cristina Rodda, the public affairs director, could not confirm whether Staake was the accused in a plot to kill Bieber.
Staake and Martin have both served time at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility.
Staake was released on Oct. 22, according to a statement by the state corrections department. He reported and complied with the conditions of his parole until Nov. 14 when he absconded, officials said.
Martin is currently being held in segregation at Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces, N.M., according to the corrections department. His sentence was just short of 989 years for first-degree murder.
No killings planned in the alleged plot were committed. Instead, Martin revealed the plots to police before Staake and Ruane could act.
Staake was arrested in the Vermont area and Ruane in New York, where Bieber gave a concert on Nov. 28.With files from The Canadian Press