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In EDNY Murder For Hire Trial Guilty Verdicts On Zottola and Ross As Lopez Acquitted

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book
BBC - Honduras - CIA Trial book - NY Mag

EDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 19 – In a large courtroom in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Anthony Zottola, Alfred Lopez and Himen Ross are standing trial for the October 4, 2018 murder-for-hire of Mafia associate Sylvester Zottola, a.k.a. “Sally Daz,” at a McDonalds drive-through in the Bronx.

    Inner City Press, now covering the EDNY courthouse albeit still not approve to bring in phone and laptop, is covering the trial, before District Judge Hector Gonzalez. 

 For the entire week,  FBI Special Agent Michael Zoufal has been testifying on direct examination about calls and text messages. Anthony Zottola allegedly orchestrated and financed multiple attacks on his father and Anthony’s brother Salvatore Zottola prior to the murder.   

 On September 30, it finally turned to cross examination. Defense lawyer Henry E. Mazurek, whose SDNY work Inner City Press has covered in a number of live-reported trial, asked Zoufal if he thought the defendants were communicating in code.

The FBI agent resisted, saying that the texts spoke for themselves. 

 Mazurek shifted to analogies, about communications about tacos, or one's mother. Each time the AUSA objected, and Judge Gonzalez said, I'll allow it. 

On October 4, Inner City Press now covering the EDNY with a pass (for now for US v. Barrack) covered this case again. A cooperator was on the stand, describing his first arrests for burglary, then joining the gang in prison, slashing faces, identifying defendants in the case. 

On October 19, the EDNY jury convicted Anthony Zottola, Sr. and Himen Ross of murder-for-hire conspiracy and murder-for-hire in the October 4, 2018 killing of 71-year-old Sylvester Zottola as he waited to pick up a cup of coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Bronx. The jury also found the defendants guilty of causing Sylvester Zottola’s death through the use of a firearm and unlawful use and possession of firearms. They face mandatory life terms when sentenced by United States District Judge Hector Gonzalez. A third defendant, Alfred Lopez, was acquitted on all counts. Watch this site. 


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