Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Gambino associate arrested in murder of elderly mob loan shark

A Gambino crime family associate has been arrested for the murder and robbery of mob-tied loan shark Vincent Zito, authorities announced Thursday.
Anthony Pandrella, 59, of Brooklyn was arrested Wednesday for the execution-style slay of Zito, 77, who was shot twice in the head inside his Sheepshead Bay home on Oct. 26, 2018, according to US Attorney Richard Donoghue.
Pandrella allegedly stole the assets of Zito’s loan business after the killing.
The news came a day after Gambino crime boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali was assassinated in front of his Staten Island home.
Prosecutors say Pandrella and Zito were longtime friends.
Pandrella met with Zito in the older man’s home, put two bullets in the back of his head at close range, swiped his loansharking assets and then cleaned up any trace of himself at the crime scene, the feds allege.
He returned to the house that night to sit with Zito’s loved ones — but was really there just to glean what he could about the police investigation, prosecutors claim.
“An associate of the Gambino crime family allegedly shoots his friend in the back of the head, returns to the home to visit with the family and then thinks he can dispose of the evidence of the crime,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F Sweeney Jr. said Thursday.
“It takes a certain type of evil to murder a friend in their own home, and then console the grieving relatives.”
Pandrella allegedly was captured on security footage entering and exiting Zito’s home at the time of the crime, and his DNA was recovered from the trigger of the murder weapon, authorities say.
A grand jury indicted Pandrella on March 7, and the indictment was unsealed Thursday following his arrest.
He appeared in Brooklyn federal court Thursday where he pleaded not guilty.
Pandrella’s lawyer, James Froccaro, said he “plans to fight the charges to the fullest extent of the law.”
Also at the court hearing was Zito’s family, including grandson Joseph, who discovered his grandfather’s body when he came home from school Zito’s son was asked after the hearing what it was like to see his father’s alleged killer in court.
“Alive?” the younger Zito cracked. “I want him to live a long time so he will serve a long time.”
He added: “He will get his justice. Our days will never be the same. Life will never be the same. But life goes on.”
Brooklyn Assistant US Attorney Kristin Mace said a permanent order of detention should be filed in this case because Pandrella is a danger to the community. He as remanded until a bail hearing on March 21.



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