According to KRQE, two hit men from New Mexico were arrested as part of an elaborate plot to murder and castrate Justin Bieber last month. The plot was reportedly hatched in a New Mexico prison, where convicted murderer and rapist Dana Martin recruited then-fellow inmate Mark Aaron Staake to carry out the gruesome crime (which was to involve strangulation with a paisley tie, apparently Martin's calling card) along with three other similar murders.

Staake then convinced his nephew, Tanner Ruane, to assist in the crime, which was set to take place at Bieber's recent concert at Madison Square Garden. Perhaps because he was the youngest, Ruane was in charge of the actual castration, an act which, as The Toronto Star reports, was surprisingly lucrative – the duo was set to receive a bounty of $2,500 for each severed testicle.

For reasons that still aren't clear, Martin, who has a tattoo of Bieber on his leg, had a change of heart and alerted authorities about the plot. Staake was arrested in Vermont on outstanding warrants, but his nephew was released. New York police eventually arrested Ruane after recording calls with Martin during which Ruane expressed disappointment that he couldn't carry out the crime. When he was detained, police found "murder tools" and pruning shears in Ruane's possession.

Scooter Braun, Bieber's manager, issued a statement to US Weekly, saying, "We take every precaution to protect and insure [sic] the safety of Justin and his fans."

[Image via AP]