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

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Feds say son ordered his mobster dad murdered so he can take over his real estate empire

The man accused of having his mob-associate dad rubbed out at a Bronx McDonald’s drive-through was hoping to take over his father’s $45 million real estate empire, federal prosecutors charged Tuesday. 

Anthony Zottola planned to seize control of some 90 properties throughout the borough after the 2018 drive-through assassination of dad, Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola. 

“The defendant wanted that control,” Assistant US Attorney Devon Lash told jurors Tuesday at the start of his trial in Brooklyn federal court. 

Prosecutors also painted the younger Zottola as a callous fiend — who cracked jokes with his buddies just minutes after hearing that his $200,000 murder for hire plot has been successful.

According to text messages, Zottola made a quip to Bushawn Shelton, an alleged Bloods member who earlier pleaded guilty to helping in the murder plot, Lash said.

“Can we party today or tomorrow,” Shelton texted the younger Zottola after the hit.

“Tomorrow. It’s my little man’s bday. I’m taking him to his favorite place, McDonald’s. Then to a movie. LOL like I eat that stuff,” Anthony replied with apparent sarcasm.

Shelton allegedly texted back that it was like his “birthday” that day, Lash said. 

The younger Zottola is on trial with two other alleged co-conspirators, Himan Ross and Alfred Lopez, who were allegedly hired by Shelton to kill the 71-year-old Sally Daz for $200,000 as he was getting Mickey D’s coffee. 

The elder Zottola ran two businesses in the Bronx, an illegal poker machine vending operation and the sprawling real estate business, where the majority of his income came from. 

The real estate business drew more than $1 million per year in rental income and was worth a total of about $45 million, Salvatore Zottola, Sally Daz’s eldest son testified. 

In her opening statement, Lash told jurors that the elder Zottola was “hunted” in the year leading up to his murder at the fast food joint in the Claremont section of the borough. 

In a series of botched hits, would-be assassins stabbed and beat the elder Zottola, but the mob associate, who paid dues to both the Lucchese and Bonanno families, survived each attempt. 

In another attempted whacking, Salvatore Zottola – Sally Daz’s eldest son and Anthony’s older brother – was ambushed by gunmen outside of his home in the Bronx and shot numerous times. 

In three separate opening statements, attorneys for each of the defendants repeatedly told jurors that there were holes in the prosecution’s case that were so great they could not convict the trio of alleged murderers.

“Not guilty!” attorney John Burke, who is representing Lopez, exclaimed to jurors at the beginning of his spiel. 

All three of the defense attorneys argued cooperating witnesses that the prosecutors intend to call are not credible – and members of a violent street gang who will lie to get a lenient sentence.



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