In June 2010, Steele's handyman, Larry Fairfax, alleged to authorities that Steele was soliciting the murders of his wife and mother-in-law in a murder-for-hire plot. The FBI wired Fairfax for sound for a meeting between Fairfax and Steele where the plot would be discussed. Steele was thereafter arrested for conspiracy to commit murder.
Subsequently, when Steele was already in police custody, a pipebomb was found under his wife's car when she took it in for an oil change, which brought the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms into the case, and Fairfax was arrested. The charging document for Fairfax's arrest includes an admission that he manufactured and installed the bomb. Fairfax was given a 27-month prison sentence, and was transferred to home confinement in April 2012.