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NY Mobster Dodged Every Hit Except The One From His Son

Someone kept trying to kill Sylvester Zottola. The first attack came in 2017, when a man approached Zottola outside his Bronx home and punched him in the face, knocking him down. That November, someone tried to shoot Zottola as he drove on an expressway. Two days after Christmas, men inside his home stabbed him in the neck. In 2018, a man walked up on the sidewalk, pointed a pistol at him and pulled the trigger only to misfire. That fall, an attacker succeeded in killing Zottola, 71, shooting him repeatedly as he sat in his SUV at a McDonald’s drive-through. On Wednesday, a jury in Brooklyn convicted Anthony Zottola, his 44-year-old son, of conspiracy, murder-for-hire, shooting his brother, Salvatore Zottola, and murdering his father, reports the New York Times. Prosecutors told jurors that Anthony Zottola planned to kill his brother and father so he could control a family real estate business worth millions of dollars. He was accused of working with a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang who hired a “network of hit men.” Himen Ross, who allegedly fired the fatal shots, was convicted on Wednesday, along with Anthony Zottola. Several other men had pleaded guilty to participating in the plot. Among them was a senior Bloods member, Bushawn Shelton. After Wednesday’s verdict, Salvatore Zottola said his father was a good man. “He didn’t deserve this,” Salvatore Zottola added. “None of us did.” The evidence presented by prosecutors during an eight-week federal trial included camera footage of shootings, hundreds of text messages among conspirators and testimony from a hired killer who described the assassination attempts. Ron Cabey testified that in addition to trying to kill Sylvester and Salvatore Zottola, he contemplated murdering Shelton, whom he suspected of withholding information from him. Cabey’s decision to talk broke the case. He was arrested in 2018 after a police officer saw him disposing of a gun. He eventually told investigators about the murder plots. That led to the arrest of Shelton and the discovery of text messages he had exchanged with Anthony Zottola. Prosecutors said the two often used code – referring to Sylvester Zottola as “the actor” and to murder attempts as “scenes.” On the day that Sylvester Zottola escaped the attempted expressway shooting, Shelton wrote to Anthony Zottola, saying: “The actor wanted to do his own stunts and throw it in reverse in the middle of shooting a scene and drive in the opposite direction.” Zottola replied, "We going to film in his dressing room.” Hours before the attack on Sylvester Zottola in his home, Anthony Zottola wrote: “I get keys to dressing room.” Defense lawyers said Anthony Zottola had been taken advantage of by criminals with whom he had cultivated a relationship because he felt he needed protection against the Mafia.

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