Wannabe-Killer describes series of failed hits on Zottolas

You are not Murder Inc.

A clumsy would-be assassin described a series of failed assassination attempts against a New York mob operative during testimony Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn.

Failed Triggerman Ron Cabey appeared as a cooperating witness in the murder of Anthony Zottola, who is accused of recruiting two members of the Bloods gang to kill his father, Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola.

Cabey told jurors he agreed to kill the elderly Zottola — a respected ally of the Bonanno and Lucchese crime families — for $10,000, sparking a series of mishaps that culminated in his arrest in 2018.

The family patriarch was eventually fatally shot by another crook on Oct. 4, 2018 while waiting for a take-out cup of coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through restaurant in the Bronx.

But Cabey had tried — and failed — at least six times in early 2018 to take out Sally Daz and his older son, Salvatore Zottola, using four different getaway drivers, he testified.

The Stoolie told jurors he was implicated in the assassination attempt on another count by meeting a Bloods gang leader named Bushawn Shelton shortly after his release from prison.

Noting that he was “not happy with his driving skills,” Cabey said he asked Shelton to pair him with a getaway driver and a pistol to carry out the Bronx murders.

Bushawn Shelton
Bushawn Shelton is said to have orchestrated the hit on Sylvester Zottola.

In a possible assassination attempt on Salvatore, Cabey met with a driver — a Bloods gang member named “Dot” — in Brooklyn to prepare for the shooting and wipe down the gun he was planning to use, he testified.

As the two left Dot’s home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, they were immediately noticed and followed by undercover cops in a car, he testified.

Cabey threw his gun under a parked car and ran – but Dot was arrested by police, he told jurors. Dot beat the case on the grand jury stage, Cabey said on the witness stand.

Salvatore Zottola
Salvatore Zottola survived an attempt on his life in July 2018.
Gregory P. Mango

In a second try with Dot, the two loaded into a “horrible brown van” that was “a piece of junk” and drove to the Locust Point neighborhood where Salvatore lived.

Shelton planned to meet her there to give Cabey a hunting knife – and the ambiguous duo smoked weed in the van while they waited for the Bloods gangbanger.

A stoned Cabey then set out to kill Salvatore – but was spooked when he thought someone in the house had noticed he’d entered the wrong combination on a keyboard to get inside.

In a final attempt on June 12, 2018, Cabey rode with defendant Himen Ross to one of Sylvester Zottola’s properties in the Bronx and eventually got his sights set on the family patriarch.

As he approached Sylvester on the street, the aging gangster shouted, “Don’t come any closer!” Cabey told the jury.

Anton Zottola
Anthony Zottola allegedly staged his father’s assassination to gain control of a $45 million real estate empire.

Sylvester then drew his own pistol and fired at least one shot at Cabey, he said. Cabey tried to return fire but his gun jammed, he testified.

Police arrested Cabey later that day when they tried to stop the car he and Ross were riding in, he said.

Prosecutors allege that the plot to kill Sally Daz was hatched by his son Anthony, who wanted control of his father’s sprawling real estate empire.

Anthony’s brother Salvatore Zotolla survived multiple gunshots from another gunman in a brazen daylight assassination attempt outside his home in Locust Point. Wannabe-Killer describes series of failed hits on Zottolas


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