• Police: Murder plot targets have been contacted
     | November 28,2012

    MONTPELIER — One of two New Mexico men who authorities say traveled to Vermont as part of a conspiracy to murder two people has been charged, Vermont State Police said Tuesday.

    State police said they believe the second man is involved in the conspiracy, but they provided no other details.

    “Both suspects are being investigated by the New Mexico State Police for their part in a criminal conspiracy to locate and murder two individuals in Vermont,” Vermont police said in a news release.

    Police also said initial reports that the alleged intended victims were in the St. Albans area were wrong and that no one in that community was in danger. State police investigators have been in contact with the alleged intended targets.

    Tanner Ruane, 23, was arrested Nov. 20 in Rotterdam, N.Y., after New York State Police learned a warrant had been issued out of New Mexico for his arrest on two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and other charges.

    The previous day, Ruane and his uncle, Mark Staake, 41, had gotten lost and ended up at the Highgate Springs border crossing with Canada, several miles north of St. Albans. Staake was detained by federal authorities and later arrested on a fugitive-from-justice charge out of New Mexico. Authorities said that at the time they did not know of any conspiracy warrant for Ruane, and he was allowed to leave.

    Vermont police said New Mexico authorities did not tell them about the conspiracy case until late Monday. They have referred questions about it to New Mexico officials. Neither the New Mexico State Police nor officials with that state’s Department of Corrections returned repeated calls or emails from The Associated Press.

    In announcing Ruane’s arrest, the New York State Police said Staake had served time in a New Mexico prison with a Vermont man, Dana Martin, who is serving two life sentences for a 2000 murder in Barre. Officials have not said if that relationship played any role in the alleged conspiracy.

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