ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - Investigators believe two Albuquerque men were hired by a perverted killer so he could kill again, from prison.
It is a case that stretches from New Mexico to Vermont.
Police believe the suspects planned to kill at least two people who live in Vermont and it was their ties to a New Mexico prison and the fact they were a little lost that got them caught.
Mark Staake, 41, and his 23-year-old nephew Tanner Ruane were arrested Tuesday in Vermont in a murder for hire plot involving an infamous killer there.
Both men are from New Mexico and police believe they were hired to kill two witnesses in a 12-year-old rape and murder case.
The alleged mastermind is 45-year-old Dana Martin.
In October of 2000 Martin raped and strangled 15-year-old Deandra Fluorucci in his Vermont home, then dumped the high school sophomore's body under a nearby bridge
"My daughter she was a happy kid, fun-loving…I loved her dearly," the victim's father, Mickey Florrucci, said. "I'm sorry this had to come this way. I really can't comment more on that 'cause I'm at a loss for words..mostly heartbroken."
Her parents were devastated and Martin was transferred to the state prison in Las Cruces for his own safety. That's where investigators believe he befriended Staake.
Online court records show Staake, an Albuquerque native, has been in and out of jail since the early 90's.
He has a slew of drug, DWI and burglary arrests.
According to the New Mexico Department of Corrections Staake was released on parole last month.
Then state police issued a warrant for his arrest when he skipped out on his parole 12 days ago.
The pair was caught in Vermont at a border crossing coming in from Canada. Police say they were lost and looking for directions but when they ran Staake's info the found the warrant.
After searching the men's car, police say they found evidence of the men's plan, Including murder tools and names and addresses of the intended victims and their families.
Staake is now being extradited back to New Mexico before he faces charges in this case. Martin is now in isolation at the Las Cruces prison and he will be sent back to Vermont.
He is serving two consecutive life sentences. Police in Vermont think Martin may have been behind a string of disappearances.
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