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

Monday, August 22, 2022

Bloods gang leader pleads guilty in mafia tied murder for hire plot in the Bronx

A Bloods leader who helped mob scion Anthony Zottola Sr. whack his own father pleaded guilty Monday to his role in the for-hire Bronx rub-out to avoid spending life in prison.

Bushawn Shelton was paid to plan the assassination of Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola and the botched hit on the slain Lucchese associate’s other son, Salvatore.

Shelton traded coded texts with mobster Anthony Zottola Sr. that described the planning as a movie, the victim as an “actor,” and the killing as the “final scene.”

But with the real show — a trial in Brooklyn Federal Court — just days away, Shelton decided he wasn’t ready for his close-up and pleaded guilty in exchange for 35 to 40 years behind bars.

His plea agreement does not include any requirement that he cooperates with prosecutors.

Jury selection in Anthony Zottola Sr.’s trial continues this week. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Sylvester Zottola, 71, was executed while sitting behind the wheel of his car waiting for coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Bronx on Oct. 4, 2018. Prosecutors said a conspirator texted Shelton a one-word message, ”Done,” after the shooting.

Zottola Sr.’s older brother, Salvatore, survived a July 11, 2018, hit outside his waterfront Bronx mansion.

“I agreed with others to commit murder for hire against Salvatore and Sylvester Zottola,” Shelton told Judge Raymond Dearie on Monday. “I received money in exchange for my participation. ... At the time of the incidents I knew what I did was wrong and I am deeply sorry for my actions and the pain that I caused.

If Dearie decides at his Dec. 15 sentencing that Shelton’s crimes deserves more than 40 years behind bars, the gang leader can withdraw his guilty plea.

The planning for both hits began in 2017, with Zottola Sr., 44, scheming in texts on Christmas Day of that year, prosecutors said.

Shelton, 38, a high-ranking leader of Brooklyn’s Murderous Maddawg set of the Bloods, enlisted members of the Gorilla Stone set along with other Bloods members to undertake the violence on Shelton’s behalf.

“Can we get a doubleheader at all,” Zottola Sr. asked in a text message, according to prosecutors. “My business is all messed up by both of them especially the MF captain (his father) the worst. Everyday (it) gets harder for me.”

Jury selection in Zottola Sr.’s trial continues this week. He could face the death penalty if convicted.



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