What to Know
- Son of man with alleged mob ties who was shot to death at a NYC McDonald's drive-thru last year was arrested on murder-for hire charges
- Anthony Zottola, Sr. of Larchmont, New York, and three others were arrested on the charges Tuesday, according to federal prosecutors
- The murder-for-hire charges are in connection to a plot to take out his father and brother, prosecutors say
The son of a man with alleged mob ties who was shot to death at a New York City McDonald's drive-thru last year was arrested on murder-for hire conspiracy charges in connection with the plot to take out his father and brother, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Anthony Zottola, Sr. of Larchmont, New York, and three others were arrested on the charges Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Prosecutors say Zottola plotted with Bloods gang members to kill his father and brother.
“As alleged, Zottola Sr. set in motion a deadly plot to kill his father and brother, with Bloods gang members carrying out extreme acts of violence to collect a payoff for the hits,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement.
Seventy-one-year-old Sylvester Zottola, who had alleged mob ties, was shot to death at a New York City McDonald's drive-thru after being tracked using a GPS device hidden on his car, prosecutors previously said.
Sylvester was killed in Oct. 4, 2018 while in his car, waiting for a cup of coffee outside the fast-food joint in the Bronx. Authorities say he had ties to the Bonanno crime family.
Investigators linked the device to some of the five alleged Bloods gang members charged in October 2018 death, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay Gerdes previously said.
Prosecutors have not revealed a motive for the father's killing and attempted hit on the brother.
According to court filings, Zottola allegedly hired co-defendant Bushawn Shelton, a member of the Bloods street gang, to carry out the murders of his father and his brother. Shelton, in turn, recruited others to commit the murders.
In text messages with Shelton, Zotolla referred to the planned murder as “the filming” and the “final scene” – with his father as “the actor” and the hit man as “the director,” prosecutors say.
If convicted of conspiring to commit a murder-for-hire, the defendants face a mandatory penalty of life imprisonment, or possibly the death penalty.
Attorney information for Zottola, Shelton or the other accused was not immediately clear.
Five other defendants linked to the murder-for-hire plot were previously indicted.
Law enforcement sources previously said that Sylvester was arrested months prior to his killing after allegedly shooting a man who pulled a gun on him outside of his home. About a month later, his son, 41-year-old Salvatore Zottola, was attacked by a gunman outside his home in Throgs Neck in July 2018.
Shocking video from the incident shows the shooter firing first at Salvatore Zottola from a moving car as Salvatore desperately ducks for cover behind a minivan. The suspect then jumps out of the car, shoots several more times and flees in the red sedan.
Salvatore was hit by several bullets in his torso and hand, and also suffered graze wounds to his head, police said. He was treated at a local hospital and survived.
Sources have said the attack on Salvatore was believed to be a message to his now slain father, Sylvester. Both father and son have been linked to the Bonanno crime family in the past.