Italian mobster ordered to kill his father and brother: verdict after trial in New York
A jury in Brooklyn (NYC) yesterday convicted Anthony Zottola Sr. of having his father Sylvester killed and try to eliminate his brother Salvatore by hiring members of the street gang “Bloods” in 2018.
Hymen Ross (36), who was accused of firing the fatal shots, was also convicted. Alfred Lopez, who prosecutors say was Ross’s getaway driver, was acquitted. Several other men had pleaded guilty to participating in the plot.reported The New York Times.
Prosecutors had told the jury in Federal District Court that Anthony Zottola he wanted his father dead so he could control a family real estate business. He was accused of working with a high-ranking member of the gang “Bloods”” who hired a “hitman network”.
Defense attorneys denied that he had conspired to kill his father and brother. They said that he had been taken advantage of by a group of criminals with whom he had cultivated a relationship because he felt that he needed protection from the mob.
Evidence at trial included hundreds of text messages between the conspirators and testimony from a hit man. which described clumsy assassination attempts.
That witness, Ron Cabey, testified that in addition to attempting to kill patriarch Sylvester Zottola and his son Salvatore, he considered killing Busawn Shelton, a senior member of the “Bloods” whom Cabey suspected was withholding information from him, and two hit-and-run drivers. whom he considered too “chatty”.
In the end, Cabey’s decision to speak broke the case. Arrested in the summer of 2018 after a police officer saw him dispose of a gun, he eventually told investigators about the murder plots. That led to Shelton’s arrest and the discovery of text messages he had exchanged with Anthony Zottola, whose wife cried yesterday as he walked out of the courtroom after the verdict.
Salvatore Zottola, 45, survived a July 11, 2018 shooting outside his Bronx waterfront home. He testified during the eight week trial, saying that his father had been friends with mobsters, but that he was not a “made member” of “La Cosa Nostra”. He claimed his father’s income came from providing pool tables, jukeboxes and poker machines to bars and restaurants and from some 30 properties in the Bronx that generated approximately $1.5 million dollars a year in rental income.
“He didn’t deserve this,” Salvatore Zottola said of his father after the verdict. “None of us deserved it.”
As summarized by the prosecution, at the request of his son Anthony, the elderly Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola, 71, was murdered by the “Bloods” gang while he was sitting behind the wheel of his car waiting for a coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Bronx on October 4, 2018, his grandson’s birthday.
Immediately after gangster Shelton received the news that the hit had taken place, he texted Anthony and asked: “Can we celebrate today or tomorrow?” according to prosecutor Lash.
“Tomorrow,” Anthony replied. “It’s my little man’s birthday. I’ll take him to his favorite place McDonalds (after) to the movies. LOL. Like me if I eat those things. Thanks for being a great friend, my man.”
La Cosa Nostra works through entities known as “families”, which in New York are five: Bonanno, Genovese, Luchese, Colombo and Gambino. Apparently, the elder Zottola was a partner of Bonanno and Lucchese.
- 9 arrested in Cosa Nostra mafia network, including a Hispanic detective from New York; they used a football club to launder money
- “The New York mafia is alive”: 14 arrested from the legendary Colombo criminal family for money laundering and extortion
- Legendary New York mobster dies at 103: he was the oldest federal prisoner in the US.
- Legend of the Italian mafia tells secrets of the crime in New York at the age of 102