A 54-year-old Santa Monica man has been arrested by police for allegedly soliciting the murder of a former business associate.

Santa Monica police say they were able to foil the suspected murder plot and ensure the safety of the intended victim, who was not identified. Police investigators arrested Paul Harwood in his Ocean Park home at 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 16th in connection with the murder solicitation of his former business associate, Sgt. Jay Trisler said.

The two men had worked in a transportation business together that reportedly involved some lawsuits, Trisler said. The potential motive for the alleged murder-for-hire plot is under investigation.

Police received some information that led them to the suspect’s home. Investigators served search warrants at Harwood’s residence where they allegedly recovered evidence related to the plot as well a small amount of cocaine, Trisler said. No other suspects are currently being sought in this case.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has charged Harwood with two counts of solicitation for murder, one count of possession of cocaine and one count of manufacturing cocaine, Trisler said. Harwood is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, December 31st and his bail was set at $1 million.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact investigator Vince Gamache of the Special Operations Section at (310) 458-8455, Sgt. Robert Almada at (310) 458-8455, or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) at (310) 458-8495.

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