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From a January 22 report by New Mexico State Police officer Clinton Norris. Tanner Ruane and Mark Staake were arrested before they carried out their plan and are awaiting trial.

On November 20, 2012, I was assigned to investigate allegations of multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder (also referred to as “murder for hire”). Former inmate Mark Staake and his nephew, Tanner Ruane, had left Albuquerque on or around November 14, allegedly to locate, torture/mutilate, and murder two Vermont citizens: Maurice Simoneau Jr. and Pierre Legacy. There was some mention of plans to kidnap and murder teenage pop musical star Justin Bieber.

Current inmate Dana Martin, serving a life sentence for the 2000 murder of a fifteen-year-old female in Barre, Vermont, informed officers that he was responsible for causing Staake and Ruane to travel to Vermont to kill Simoneau and Legacy. I was able to listen to two recorded phone conversations between Martin and Ruane. The following is a summary.

Ruane told Martin that “we want to work for y’all, we want to make some big bucks.” Martin asked what they were going to use to kill Simoneau and Legacy, adding that he used a necktie on his victims. Martin asked if they had some ties with them, and Ruane stated that he had intended to buy some from the store. Martin then tried to ascertain how they planned to castrate the victims. Ruane stated that they had bought hedge clippers. Ruane further stated, “I told my homie [Staake], ‘Fool, I’m gonna do this. You’re gonna give me five large for each one I get.’ ” Martin laughed and repeated that Ruane was going to get “$5,000 apiece for cutting off nuts,” continuing that it would average to about $2,500 a testicle.

Martin then asked if they had some plastic bags to put the testicles in. Ruane stated that they did, and Martin said he was going to suggest that they hide the bags somewhere in the engine compartment. Martin then jokingly commented that the testicles “might have got cooked in there; you mighta had some . . . baked testicles.” After some laughter, Martin asked if Staake had informed Ruane about what kind of tie to use on the victims. Martin indicated that it had to be a tie with a paisley pattern. Ruane was ignorant about what a paisley pattern was and stated that Staake was supposed to be responsible for purchasing the tie. Martin then spoke concerning how to use the tie, stating, “You know, you tie it really, really tight.”

A conversation ensued that centered on Mr. Bieber. There was initial confusion on Ruane’s part about the connection between Martin and Bieber, but then it dawned upon Ruane that Martin was the one Staake said had a tattoo of Bieber “on accident.” Martin said that he had received the tattoo on purpose, stating he was “all caught up in the ‘Bieber Fever.’ ” Martin explained that Bieber was in a documentary entitled Never Say Never, which was released on February 11, 2011. To commemorate the movie release, Martin stated he had tattooed on his leg the same day the words justin bieber, never say never, and february 11, 2011, along with a portrait of Justin Bieber. Later, when Bieber’s album Believe was released, Martin indicated that Bieber had believe tattooed on his (Bieber’s) arm, similar to the circumstances in which Martin received his tattoo. This similarity, in fact, made Martin angry. Martin stated, “I’m thinking to myself, ‘You know what, you little piece of shit [Bieber]? It was my idea first.’ So cut his balls off.” To which Ruane replied that he would do that.

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April 2013

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