Second Suspect, Gangsta Named "Taliban," Nabbed In McDonald's Murder Of Sally Daz, Associate Of Bonanno and Luchese Crime Families

Jailbird/alleged Bloods gang-banger Herman (Taliban) Blanco has been arrested for participating in last month's gangland shooting of Sylvester (Sally Daz) Zottola at a Bronx McDonald's drive-through, as well as the attempted murder three month's earlier of Sally Daz's son, Salvatore Zottola, Larry McShane of the Daily News reported yesterday.

October murder of Sally Daz
Blanco, 33, of the Bronx, was arraigned Friday afternoon in Brooklyn Federal Court, McShane wrote. He's the second alleged member of the Bloods street gang to be arrested in the two Zottola shootings.

Bushawn (Shelz) Shelton, 34, was arrested last month for his alleged role.

FBI agent Michael Zoufal stated Blanco and Shelton offered to pay a cooperating witness to kill Sylvester Zottola and his son, Salvatore, though the failed attempt to kill Salvatore was "ordered in an effort to "lure out" the father, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Sally Daz, the 71-year-old old victim, was a longtime mobster associated with the Luchese and Bonanno crime families. He also had had  close ties to Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano, the former Bonanno acting boss serving life in prison. Sally Daz was killed while waiting for a cup of coffee at the McDonald's.

Taliban Blanco.

Quoting from the six-page complaint, McShane reported that "(a) cooperating federal witness told authorities that Blanco approached him in the spring of this year offering cash for the killing of "John Doe #1."

"Shelton later informed the (witness) ... that the purpose of killing John Doe #1 was to lure out Zottola," the complaint alleged.

McShane also reported:

Authorities said telephone records indicated Blanco and Shelton shared frequent cell phone chats between March and October 2018.

Blanco, described by prosecutors as a known Bloods member, is being held without bail.

He is also on parole for an assault and burglary conviction. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay Gerdes said Blanco was released from prison last year after serving 12 years.

Shelton's wife Takeisha, in court papers filed Tuesday, sought to quash a subpoena seeking her to testify against her husband.

"As the law ... makes clear, Ms. Shelton cannot be compelled to offer evidence against her husband in a criminal proceeding," wrote her attorney Florian Miedel.

Prosecutors suggested, without identifying another suspect, that they might ask Ms. Shelton to testify against another target of the probe.

The case was investigated by the F.B.I.’s Balkan and Middle Eastern organized crime squad.

Zottola at the McDonald's drive through

For years, the Zottolas fostered close ties to the Luchese and Bonanno crime families, providing and maintaining electronic gambling machines for mob-controlled hubs in New Jersey.

In July Salvatore Zottola walked out of his Bronx home and into an early morning hail of bullets.

The shooter had pulled up in a dark-colored Nissan sedan and opened fire as Sally Daz walked to his car, shooting him multiple times – including once to the head and three times in his torso.

The son refused to cooperate with investigators, after FBI agents descended on the Zottolas' home in Locust Point. They were forced to take surveillance footage from a neighboring yacht club after Zottola denied them access to the houses’ cameras.

Zottola and his family reportedly own three pricey four-story homes on the street where the attempted hit occured, all of which overlook the water off the eastern tip of the Bronx.

After hearing of the McDonald's murder, one investigator initially called them "The gang that couldn’t eat straight." The investigator had learned that Zottola had ordered only a medium McCafe, $1.29, when he pulled up in his SUV to the menu board outside the McDonald’s on Webster Avenue.