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Bloods Leader Gets 37 Years for Murder of Mafia Gambling Kingpin

Tiffany Burroughs
Updated: 8 August 2023
1 min to read

On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced a Brooklyn Bloods leader to 37 years in prison for organizing the murder of a suspected Bonanno crime family associate.
Bushwan Shelton, Sylvester Zottola, Anthony Zottola
Bushawn Shelton, 39, has pleaded guilty to involvement in the murder of Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola, 71, who was the leader of illegal video gambling operations for the Bonanno crime family. It was part of a scheme orchestrated by Zottola’s son, Anthony, who was keen to take control of his father’s real estate empire. Sylvester Zottola was killed at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Bronx in October 2018. Hyman Ross, a member of the Bloods and Anthony Zottola were both convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in April 2021. Prior to this, Ross also attempted to kill Anthony’s brother, Salvatore Zottola, in the summer of 2018. He shot him in the head, chest, and hand but thankfully he survived.

Botched Attempts

Anthony Zottola initially hired Shelton to rough up a tenant, which ultimately led to a patricidal plot with six unsuccessful assassination attempts before Sylvester Zottola was attacked at gunpoint by masked assailants in November 2017. One month later, three men violently assaulted Sylvester, banging his head with a gun, stabbing him, and slitting his throat in his own home. Prosecuting attorney Gonzalez declared that the defendant’s greed appears to have been the only driving ambition throughout the year-long terror these attacks placed on the Zottolas and added that a Tracking Device had been used.

Tracking Device

Shelton eventually set up a tracking device on Sylvester Zottola’s car, thus permitting Ross to locate him at a McDonald’s restaurant on Webster Avenue, where the victim had gone for coffee. Afterwards, Ross and Shelton texted each other and then Shelton informed Anthony Zottola of his father’s death. Shockingly, Shelton then posed the question, “Can we party today or tomorrow?” to which the defendant has since apologized for.

Defendant Apologizes  

At court, Shelton had a different attitude, repeatedly apologising to the Zottolas. “I am sorry, truly sorry for the grief, affliction and loss I caused your family”, he uttered as reported by The New York Daily News. “I have been longing to show my remorse and regret to you, all I can do is attempt to be better, and I just wanted to tell you that I am sorry.” Salvatore Zottola informed the court that Shelton’s regrets “were of no value.”

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Updated: 8 August 2023
1 min to read

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