Son charged in murder of reputed crime associate father in McDonald's parking lot

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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN -

A man accused of being involved in the murder of his reputed crime family associate father pleaded not guilty in federal court Tuesday.

Federal attorneys allege that Anthony Zottola orchestrated through text messages the murder of his father and attempted murder of his brother.

Three other defendants, who investigators say are known members of the Bloods gang, were also indicted for their alleged involvement.

In July of last year, Anthony Zottola's brother Salvatore was shot multiple times outside his Bronx home. He survived. Then in October, Sylvester Zottola was sitting in a McDonald's parking lot in the Bronx when he was fatally shot.

MORE: Suspect arrested in McDonald's drive-thru slaying of reputed mobster | Man with Mafia ties shot dead at Claremont McDonald's drive-thru 

Prior to the killing, investigators say Sylvester Zottola had reported there were multiple attempts on his life. As a result, he had gone into hiding.

Prosecutors say Anthony Zottola put tracking devices on his family members' cars and told the other defendants where they could be found, using coded text messages. They add that Anthony Zottola was known as a person who wouldn't think twice to turn his back on his family.

Family members were emotional in court as a judge cited Anthony Zottola's wealth and involvement in the crime as reasons he should be held behind bars, rejecting the application for a $1.5 million bond.

The charges Anthony Zottola faces carry a life sentence or the possibility of the death penalty.

All defendants are due back in court July 30.

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