A New York man was indicted Tuesday for allegedly hiring Bloods gang members in a plot to kill his father and brother, prosecutors said.
Anthony Zottola Sr., 41, of Larchmont, New York, was charged along with nine others in the murder of his father, Sylvester Zottola, in a McDonald's drive-thru in October, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. The men were also charged in the near-fatal shooting of Anthony's brother and Sylvester's son, Salvatore Zottola, in July last year.
Anthony and Sylvester Zottola have been linked to the Bonanno crime family in the past, according to NBC New York.
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Anthony Zottola allegedly hired Bushawn Shelton, 35, a member of the Bloods street gang, to carry out the murders. Shelton then recruited other members and made several attempts to kill Sylvester and Salvatore Zottola beginning in November of 2017, prosecutors said.
Federal prosecutors said that Anthony Zottola exchanged messages with Shelton referring to the murders as "the filming” and the “final scene." His father was referred to as "the actor" and the hitman as the "director."
Sylvester Zottola was threatened at gunpoint a month before three men broke into his home, stabbed him and slashed his throat Dec. 27, 2017. The patriarch survived the attack but was shot to death the following October as he waited to pick up his order at a McDonald's in the Bronx.
After the Oct. 4 shooting, Shelton allegedly texted Anthony Zottola a message saying “Done," and the men then met for a $200,000 payment, prosecutors said.
Salvatore Zottola was shot multiple times in the head, chest and hand in front of his home but managed to survive the July 11, 2018, attack.
Anthony Zottola and Shelton were charged with a murder-for-hire conspiracy, unlawful use and possession of a firearm, and causing death through the use of a firearm. Shelton was additionally charged with possession of a firearm and possessing contraband in prison, according to a superseding indictment.
Seven other men — Jason Cummings, 31; Alfred Lopez, 36; Julian Snipe, 32; Herman Blanco, 34; Arthur Codner, 31; Kalik McFarlane, 37; and Himen Ross, 33 — were also charged with a murder-for-hire conspiracy, unlawful use and possession of a firearm, and causing death through the use of a firearm. They have all been arrested.
Another man, Branden Peterson, was also charged in the Tuesday indictment, but authorities have not yet been able to arrest him.
If convicted, the men face a mandatory punishment of life imprisonment.