Chef solicited homeless to commit murder

SANTA MONICA, Calif. Santa Monica police Sgt. Jay Trisler said Juan-Carlos Cruz was arrested at 12:30 p.m. Thursday and booked on suspicion of solicitation to commit murder.

Trisler said officers were contacted on May 7 by homeless individuals who were solicited by the suspect to kill someone. They then agreed to help police investigate the alleged murder-for-hire plot.

During the investigation, detectives discovered where, when and how the targeted individual was to be killed and how much money Cruz allegedly offered, according to Trisler.

The intended victim was notified by police, but Santa Monica police wouldn't say who Cruz wanted murdered or why.

Cruz first gained fame when he lost a lot of weight and turned his success into a career, hosting the Food Network show "Calorie Commando" in 2004 and writing a popular cookbook.

He was being held on $5 million bail and was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

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