CHICAGO (STMW) – A Buffalo Grove man just weeks away from completing a short jail sentence for domestic violence-related charges was ordered held on $1 million bond Saturday, after he attempted to arrange for the murder of his victim.
Judge Ramon Ocasio ordered Mikhail “Mike” Gelzin, held on $1 million bond on Saturday during a hearing in Cook County Criminal Court, according to a court clerk.
Gelzin, who was charged with solicitation of murder for hire, is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Feb. 10, according to the clerk.
A release from the Cook County Sheriff’s office said Gelzin 53, of Buffalo Grove, has been serving a 180-day sentence for repeatedly violating the terms of an order of protection filed against him after a 2009 domestic battery arrest in north suburban Wilmette. Since that initial incident, Wilmette police have arrested Gelzin for calling, e-mailing and driving past the home of his victim.
Gelzin, who has been serving that sentence in a minimum-security division of the Cook County Jail, was initially set to appear in court again on March 2 and could have seen his jail term end after that hearing, the release said.
But investigators with the Cook County Sheriff’s Criminal Intelligence Unit learned Gelzin was actively seeking someone to kill the woman he had been arrested for battering and harassing, the release said.
CIU — an investigative unit based at the jail — arranged for an undercover officer to pose as a hitman and communicate with Gelzin. On Thursday, Gelzin agreed to provide the officer with $15,000 in cash in exchange for the murder of the woman. Later, Gelzin asked to negotiate the price down and finally agreed to pay the officer $12,000, the release said.
Gelzin, who was born in Russia, said he planned to flee the country and live overseas as soon as he left jail.
He will now be re-classified to a maximum security division of the jail while he is awaiting trial, due to the severity of the new criminal charge filed against him, the release said.
Solicitation of murder for hire is a class X felony, the most serious criminal charge in the State of Illinois, and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison if he is convicted.