PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Celebrity Chef Juan-Carlos Cruz, host of the show “Calorie Commando” on the Food Network, was arrested Thursday for allegedly masterminding a failed murder-for-hire plot, police said.
Officers arrested Cruz, 48, at a dog park in the Cheviot Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles at 12:30 p.m. Thursday after police learned of the alleged plot from several homeless individuals, said Santa Monica Police Department Sgt. Jay Trisler.
Cruz allegedly approached the homeless individuals in the vicinity of the Third Street Promenade about carrying out the murder. Trisler said the homeless individuals, who were not identified because the investigation is ongoing, informed officers in SMPD’s Homeless Liaison Unit about the alleged scheme May 7 and agreed to cooperate with investigators.
Cruz was being held on $5 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at the LAX Courthouse on Monday, Trisler said.
A source familiar with the investigation said the alleged plot targeted Cruz’s wife, but Trisler declined to confirm the information.
He also declined to say how much money the homeless individuals were allegedly offered to take part.