New York man sentenced to life in prison for ordering murder-for-hire hits on his brother and mafia-linked father
A Bronx, New York man convicted of ordering the murder-for-hire of his brother and Mafia-linked father was sentenced to life in prison Friday, federal prosecutors said.
Anthony Zotola Sr., 45, and co-conspirator Hymen Ross, 37, each face mandatory life sentences and 112 years in federal prison after being convicted in 2022 of hiring gang members to kill Zotola’s 71-year-old father. A year sentence was imposed. , Sylvester, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Sylvester Zottola was fatally shot in October 2018 while waiting for a cup of coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru, authorities said.
Federal prosecutors say the shooting was the third attempt on Sylvester Zotola’s life as part of his son’s plan to take over the family’s real estate business. Prosecutors previously said that Sylvester Zottola, known as ‘Sally Days’, was an associate of the Lucchesi family, one of the five mob families that historically dominated New York, and another well-known Known mobster, Vincent Bassiano, worked with Bonanno’s former boss. crime family
In November 2017, Sylvester Zotola was threatened at gunpoint by a masked man, and in December 2017, three men invaded his home, hitting him in the head with a gun, stabbing him and slitting his throat. cut off Prosecutors said he survived the first two attempts on his life.
Prosecutors said that in the final assassination attempt — which killed Sylvester Zottola — a tracking device was placed in his car, which allowed Ross, who opened fire, to track him to a McDonald’s restaurant.
“Over a year, the elderly victim, Sylvester Zotola, was stalked, beaten and stabbed, never knowing who had carried out the attacks. It was his own son, who was so determined to control the family’s lucrative real estate business that he hired a gang of hit men to kill his father,” U.S. Attorney Bren Peace said in a statement. “For his father’s violent death sentence, Anthony Zottola and his co-defendant will spend the rest of their lives in prison.”
Separately, the defendant’s brother, Salvatore Zottola, was shot in the head, chest and hand in front of his home in July 2018, authorities said. He survived the attack and testified at trial, CNN previously reported.
One of Anthony Zottola’s attorneys previously blamed the attacks on the Bloods gang.
“A violent street gang hunted down Anthony and his family and wreaked havoc on them. We will appeal this decision to prevent Anthony from becoming another victim of the Blood Gang. He is not guilty of these violent crimes,” defense attorney Henry E. Mazurka said in October.
Sylvester Zotola owns a residential real estate portfolio worth millions of dollars, and prosecutors said Anthony Zotola, who helped manage the properties, conspired to kill his father and brother to take control of the business.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the additional 112 years in Zottola’s and Ross’ sentences reflected the combined ages of Zottola’s father, 71, and brother, 41, when they were shot.
Another of Zotola’s attorneys, Ilana Harmati, said her client “will strongly appeal to prove his innocence.”
“Anthony Zottola is a loving father and husband,” Haramati told CNN on Saturday. “His death sentence by incarceration will only add to the trauma the Zotola family has already suffered.”
Attorneys for Ross have not yet responded to CNN’s request for comment.
Six other defendants have pleaded guilty to their roles in the murder-for-hire conspiracy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.