Former Food Network Chef Arrested in Murder-for-Hire Plot

Juan-Carlos Cruz

Santa Monica Police Department/AP

05/16/2010 AT 1:00 PM ET

Former Food Network chef Juan-Carlos Cruz has gone from cooking to central booking.

Santa Monica police arrested Cruz, 48, on May 13 for solicitation to commit murder after uncovering a scheme in which he allegedly approached homeless men and asked them to kill someone.

According to reports, at least one of the men allegedly contacted by Cruz informed police of the plot. Law enforcement immediately launched a week-long undercover operation and arrested Cruz on Thursday at a local dog park.

Cruz’s intended target – whose identity has yet to be revealed – has been notified of the plot, police said. Authorities have also yet to indicate a motive.

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