The son of a reputed New York City mobster gunned down at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Bronx was behind that hit, as well as an earlier failed attack on his own brother, according to federal prosecutors.
Anthony Zottola Sr. was arraigned in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday on murder-for-hire conspiracy and other charges in the killing of his 71-year-old father, Sylvester Zottola, and the near-fatal shooting of his 41-year-old brother, Salvatore.
“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, according to the New York Post. “Zottola Sr. and Shelton referred to the planned murders as ‘filming’ a movie, but thanks to the outstanding work of law enforcement, the ending of their plot will take place in a federal courthouse.”
The elder Zottola, a reputed associate of the Bonanno crime family, was killed in October while sitting in his car, waiting for a cup of coffee.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney added: “There is apparently no love lost between Mr. Zottola and his family members, so much so he allegedly hired members of the Bloods gang to kill his brother and father. After several botched attempts on both men’s lives, sadly his father did not survive the last attack.”
“It looks like it was over the family business — the Joker Poker machines — and the son was looking to take over,” a source told the news outlet Tuesday.
Five alleged Bloods gang members also have been arrested in the slaying and the plot to kill Salvatore, who survived a July shooting.
Three other defendants were also charged in the case Tuesday and a fifth suspect is being sought. All four pleaded not guilty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.