A star witness for the prosecution declared “I’m not a rat” from the witness stand in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday.
Ron Cabey who is testifying as part of a cooperation agreement with the feds in the murder-for-hire case against Anthony Zottola maintained that he wasn’t a snitch.
“I’m not a rat,” Cabey, 32, said. “I’m a cooperator.”
On Tuesday, Cabey told jurors how he tried – and failed – at least six times to rub out Mafia-associate Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola, 71, and his other son, Salvatore, 45.
Prosecutors allege Anthony hired a Bloods gang leader to orchestrate his father’s hit and the attempted murder of older brother Salvatore in an effort to seize control of the family’s $45 million Bronx real estate empire.
Anthony, 44, is on trial with two co-defendants, Alfred Lopez and Himen Ross, who were allegedly hired by the Bloods to take out Sylvester at a Bronx McDonald’s drive thru in 2018.
Cabey declared he was not a “rat” while responding to a series of sharp questions from defense attorney Elizabeth Macedonio about an alleged interaction he had with Ross in a holding cell at the Brooklyn courthouse.
During a break in the trial Tuesday, Cabey and Ross allegedly hurled insults and threats at one another when they were placed near each other in the back room.
“Suck my d–k. I’ll f–k your baby mother when I’m out. Your daughter could suck my d–k too,” Cabey yelled at Ross, he testified.
“You claimed he called you a rat,” Macedonio, who represents Ross, asked. “You are a rat, right?”
“I’m not a rat,” Cabey said. “I’m a cooperator,”
On Wednesday, Cabey explained in detail his lengthy criminal career, which included a plot to kidnap a young child and taking part in too many armed robberies to count while working as part of a Harlem stick-up crew.
During his time in the crew – and in the failed Zottola “mission” – Cabey said his co-conspirators provided him with “homework” about the marks, or identifying details he could use to carry out the crimes.
He later claimed on the stand that he wanted to find a job after his prison term – and floated the idea of working with children when he gets out.
Macedonio jumped on that line.
“Do you plan to kidnap those children?” she asked. “Are you going to help them with their homework, sir? Are you going to teach them what homework is, sir?”
Cabey is in prison and is detained in a jail that houses cooperating witnesses. He said he is testifying in the hope to earn a letter from prosecutors for a lenient sentence.
Salvatore and Anthony’s sister, Debbie Zottola, said Cabey should spend the rest of his life in prison.
“He is a disgusting monster. He should never be allowed back on the streets again,” she said.