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The Globe and Mail

Inmate plotted Justin Bieber’s death to achieve notoriety: police

Justin Bieber performs at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, December 1, 2012.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Dana Martin felt like a "nobody" in prison.

Not only was he facing consecutive life sentences in the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility for his participation in a murder in 2000, but numerous attempts to communicate with Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber, with whom he was obsessed, went unreturned. So Mr. Martin – who has Mr. Bieber's image tatooed on his leg – began to plot.

He felt the kidnap and murder of J.B., as Mr. Bieber is referred to, would bring him the notoriety he was seeking, according to an affidavit signed by Clinton Norris, an agent with New Mexico State Police.

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In prison last April, Mr. Martin met Mark Staake and, using his skills as a self-described "very good manipulator," convinced him to carry out his plan. He also told Mr. Staake, who was released on probation in October, that he had powerful connections with a Chinese gang in New York.

At Mr. Martin's request, four people, including Mr. Bieber – police confirmed that's who "J.B." is – were to be murdered and castrated. In the affidavit, he said he was going to give $2,500 per testicle. The plan was to commit the murders using neckties, which is similar to the way Mr. Martin killed his victims years ago.

But in November, Mr. Martin had an apparent change of heart – and, as a result, police have arrested Mr. Staake and his nephew Tanner Ruane in connection with the plot to murder and castrate two of the people, who have not been identified.

The alleged murder plot, which was orchestrated down to the type of instruments that would be used both for the castrations and the murders, was outlined in Mr. Norris' affidavit. Mr. Norris wrote that he was passed information alleging multiple counts of conspiracy to commit murder on Nov. 20. He said Mr. Martin asked to speak with a sergeant at the prison in mid-November and said "he believed there were two male individuals on their way to Vermont to commit two murders."

Mr. Martin, 45, then provided detailed information about who the men are, where they were travelling and who they intended to harm. The affidavit says Mr. Martin even offered up a hand-drawn map of the United States showing where the accused would be and at what time.

Mr. Staake was arrested in Vermont on an outstanding warrant from New Mexico.

Police arrested Mr. Ruane in New York after recording phone calls between him and Mr. Staake in which they discussed in detail the intended castration and murder of their first two victims, or "dogs," as they called them. In his car, police found a pair of pruning shears and information about the whereabouts of the first two victims.

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Shortly after his initial revelations, Mr. Martin explained the plot in further detail, saying the third intended victim, "J.B.," was the ultimate target. In order to get to him, Mr. Martin said, they would have to kill his bodyguard.

Mr. Staake, 41, and Mr. Ruane, 23, are each charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Both are awaiting extradition to New Mexico. Police are continuing to investigate.

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