Son of murder-for-hire felon Zecca in trouble himself

The son of a disgraced U.S. Coast Guard warrant officer serving time for trying to arrange the murder of a Marathon businessman is in the Keys jail after he allegedly violated his probation in a grand-theft case.

Joseph Zecca, 26, son of Dennis Zecca, who's doing 10 years in prison following his conviction in the murder-for-hire plot, was jailed in the Keys on Sunday after being picked up in St. Johns County (St. Augustine) on a warrant alleging violation of probation.

Tuesday, he remained in the Monroe County jail with no bond allowed.

Joseph Zecca was one of three men charged in June 2013 with grand theft for allegedly breaking into a third-floor residence on Bonito Drive in Marathon two months previous. They reportedly stole a tablet computer, $200 cash and a gold pendant, and pawned them.

Back in February 2011, the younger Zecca, whom jail records say is a "kitchen hand," was one of two men charged with breaking into homes and cars in the Garden Cove subdivision in Key Largo. Among items stolen were mail, three bicycles and a scooter. Several auto burglary and theft counts were lodged.

Court records say that in the 2013 case, "no action [was] taken by state." Records show the 2011 cases were "consolidated," so it appears he was on probation from those cases, though specifics weren't available Tuesday.

His father Dennis, 53, was sentenced this past summer to 10 years in federal prison (with credit for time served) after admitting he tried to hire a hit man to kill Marathon Realtor Bruce Schmitt. Zecca never gave a reason for his actions and never implicated anyone else, although federal prosecutors say he had co-conspirators.

Zecca is now at the Oakdale (La.) Federal Correctional Institute, a low-security prison. His scheduled release date is Sept. 7, 2021.

Zecca, a 20-year Coast Guard officer who once commanded Station Islamorada, was arrested on Dec. 21, 2012, after the hit man turned out to be a federal informant wearing a wire. Zecca had been under surveillance in a separate cocaine deal, but the drug charges were dropped in exchange for his plea in arranging Schmitt's attempted murder. Schmitt helped the case by posing for a photo staged by the feds allegedly showing him shot to death.

At the time, Zecca was part-owner of the Marathon Boat Yard and Marina on 11th Street in Marathon.