Food Network Chef Behind Bars

By Lori Preuitt
|  Saturday, May 15, 2010  |  Updated 8:15 AM PDT
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Food Network Chef Behind Bars

Santa Monica Police

Juan-Carlos Cruz

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A celebrity chef with ties to the Bay Area is behind bars this morning for allegedly cooking up a murder for hire scheme.

Food Network's chef and host of "Calorie Commando" Juan Carlos Cruz was arrested in Santa Monica after homeless people told police he asked them if they would help him kill someone.

"We learned the methodology, process that was going to take place, individual involved, payment involved, as a result, led  us to the arrest of Mr. Cruz," Jay Trisler with the Santa Monica police department said.

Police allege that Cruz propositioned homeless individuals to kill an unnamed person. Those solicited alerted the authorities on May 7, and agreed to help with an investigation, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

The identity of the intended victim has not been released.

Bail was set for Cruz at $5,000,000, according to police.

Before hosting the Food Network program, Cruz was a Sous Chef at Palo Alto's Stanford Park Hotel. 

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