Son had mobbed-up father killed to take over his $45 million Bronx real estate empire: feds

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For a year, mob scion Anthony Zottola Sr. sent goons to beat, stab and, finally, shoot his Lucchese-associate father shot dead in a Bronx McDonald’s drive-thru, so he could take over the old man’s $45 million real estate empire, prosecutors said.

When the deed was finally done in 2018, Zottola, 44, texted a joke to his pal, the Bloods leader who made it all happen, Assistant U.S. Attorney Devon Lash said on day one of Zottola’s federal trial in Brooklyn Tuesday.

Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola, 71, was murdered while sitting behind the wheel of his car waiting for coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Bronx on Oct. 4, 2018 — his grandson’s birthday.

Right after Bloods gangster Bushawn Shelton got word confirming the hit was done, he texted Zottola Sr., asking, “Can we party today or tomorrow?” according to Lash.

“Tomorrow,” Zottola responded. “It’s my lil man bday. I am taking him to his favorite place McDonalds (then) a movie. Lol. Like I eat that stuff. Thank you for being a great friend my man.”

Zottola Sr., is on trial for his dad’s killing and the the attempted murder of his younger brother, Salvatore Zottola, 45, who survived a July 11, 2018, shooting outside his Bronx waterfront home.

The accused shooter, Himen Ross, and his wheelman, Alfred Lopez, are also on trial.

“Sally Daz” ran a web of illegal “Joker Poker” gambling machines across the Bronx for the mafia, but his son had eyes on his real-estate business — which, his older son, Salvatore Zottola, testified Tuesday, brought in more than $1 million in rent a year.

Shelton loomed large in the opening arguments, but he’s not on trial, and may not take the stand at all. He pleaded guilty to orchestrating the murder-for-hire plot last month. His plea deal, which does not include a cooperation agreement, will put him behind bars for 35 to 40 years.

Zottola Sr.’s lawyer, Ilana Haramati, pinned the entire plot on Shelton.

“A relationship with Shelton was ... a way to avoid the shakedowns by the mafia that his father had endured for more than 40 years. It was a way to get his own protection,” she said. “That was Anthony’s mistake. Anthony badly misjudged his so-called friends. They weren’t friends at all.”

She added, “Anthony could never have imagined that it would lead to the murder of his own family.”