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Son Ordered Multiple Hits On His Mafia-Linked Dad. He Eventually Had Him Gunned Down As He Waited For McDonald's Coffee In Drive-Thru.

dad murder for hire mcdonalds mafia son sentenced
Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Apr. 17 2023, Published 11:31 a.m. ET

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A New York man was sentenced to life in prison after he put multiple hits out on his mafia-linked dad before eventually hiring a hitman to kill his father at a McDonald’s drive-thru in 2018.

On April 14, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York announced Anthony Zottola, Sr., 45, and Himen Ross, 37, were sentenced for their roles in a “murder-for-hire” plot, which was all part of Zottola’s plan to take over a multi-million dollar real estate business.

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In 2018, Sylvester Zottola, Anthony’s 71-year-old father, was waiting for a cup of coffee in a McDonald’s drive-thru when he was killed by Ross, officials said.

Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said, "Over the course of more than a year, the elderly victim, Sylvester Zottola, was stalked, beaten, and stabbed, never knowing who orchestrated 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 murder his father," Peace added.

Authorities said Sylvester controlled a real estate empire that was worth tens of millions of dollars at the time of his death. Anthony helped manage the business, which prosecutors allege was built on illegal gambling proceeds linked to the mafia.

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During sentencing, Salvatore Zottola, the defendant’s brother, asked: “Why? Dad gave you everything. You had everything in life,” the Associated Press reported.

Officials say Anthony plotted to kill both his brother and father in an attempt to take over the family business.


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In 2018, Anthony failed in an attempt to have his brother killed, as a gunman shot Salvatore in the head, chest and hand outside his home, authorities said.

Anthony also arranged multiple violent attacks on his father before his eventual murder, including a gang breaking into Sylvester’s home in December 2017 and striking him on the head with a gun, stabbing him multiple times and slashing his throat, officials said.

U.S. District Judge Hector Gonzalez said Anthony showed little remorse for “the unimaginable horror he caused his family,” the AP reported.

Gonzalez sentenced Zottola, Sr. and Ross to mandatory life sentences plus 112 years for the murder of Sylvester Zottola. The additional 112 years represented 41 years for Salvatore Zottola’s age when he was shot and 71 years for Sylvester’s age when he was killed.

Six other men have pleaded guilty to their roles in the murder-for-hire plot, officials said.


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