(CBS) — Police say a suburban mom was so desperate to get her children back that she hired people to carjack and then disable her ex-husband and his new wife.
But the men 39-year-old Michelle Bertoncini turned to for her alleged plot were actually undercover federal agents.
Federal agents say Ogilvie Transportation Center was one site where money was exchanged between agents and Bertoncini was exchanged. Agents say when she gave the final go-ahead for her plan, they arrested her.
Bertoncini of South Elgin is now behind bars, weeks after allegedly hiring gang members to harm her ex-husband and his new wife. But that plan died before it began because prosecutors say the gang members she hired were actually undercover Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents.
“Initially, she talked about having them killed…and then she talked about blowing them up in a car-bomb type incident and then backed off of that and just wanted them carjacked and severely beaten,” said ATF spokesperson Tom Ahern.
Ahern says it was all to get her two children back. Bertoncini agreed to pay $1,200 for the crime, giving them a down payment of $350, according to Ahern.
Ahern says Bertoncini also provided, “photos of her ex-husband, his vehicle, photos of his new wife and a schematic drawing of the interior of his residence in the city.”
Bertoncini was arrested Monday after telling the agents Sunday to go ahead with the plan.
Bertoncini’s bond is set at $350,000 for the two felonies she faces. CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov spoke with her parents who told her they are devastated and totally shocked by the charges.