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Ex-N.Y. Mob Hit Man Who Escaped Federal Custody Captured Near Miami

Dominic Taddeo had less than a year left of his sentence when the convicted contract killer failed to return to his halfway house and was declared an escapee. 

By Jax Miller
Dominic Taddeo

A convicted contract killer who escaped federal custody has been captured in South Florida.

Dominic Taddeo, 64, was listed as an escapee when he didn’t return to his halfway house after an authorized appointment on March 28, as previously reported. At around 11:00 a.m. on Monday, the Rochester, New York-based mobster was apprehended without incident in Hialeah, Florida — just north of the Miami International Airport — the U.S. Marshals Service announced.

Taddeo’s capture was the result of efforts of multiple agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service from the Southern District of Florida and the Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force.

“The tenacious work of the involved deputy marshals and the cooperation between our offices resulted in the quick capture of Mr. Taddeo,” said U.S. Marshal Bil Berger of the Middle District of Florida.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which initially put Taddeo under escape status, he is currently at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.

In February, Taddeo was transferred from a medium-security prison in Sumter County to a halfway house, according to the U.S. Marshals. He was scheduled to be released from federal custody in February 2023, less than a year after he failed to return to his facility.

Taddeo played a part in the La Cosa Nostra mob wars that peaked in the 1980s and 1990s in the New York tri-state area, as previously reported. Described as a hitman by the FBI, the upstate New York mobster pleaded guilty to numerous RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act) violations, including three homicides and two failed assassination attempts — but not before he spent two years evading authorities.

Taddeo was arrested on firearm charges back in 1987 and released shortly after. He skipped bail and went on the lam, assuming more than two dozen aliases while moving around the country between 1987 and 1989.

Taddeo was arrested and released for purchasing illegal blank driver’s licenses while on the run; authorities at the time did not know who he actually was.

Taddeo was finally apprehended in 1989 after an informant alerted authorities that he planned to visit his brother in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1992, Taddeo admitted to the shooting deaths of three alleged mobsters in 1982 and 1983, including Nicholas Mastrodonato, Gerald Pelusio, and Dino Tortatice, according to Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle

Taddeo was also pleaded guilty to two attempts to kill mob captain Thomas Marotta. He tried first in April 1983, when he fired 11 shots at Marotta with a .22 caliber firearm, striking his target six times. Marotta survived, but Taddeo tried to assassinate him again six months later when he unloaded 10 shots at the man, hitting Marotta three times.

He was sentenced to 24 years in prison, which were to be served consecutively with an existing 30-year sentence handed down for charges of weapons possession, drug conspiracy, and bail jumping, according to CNN.

Taddeo sought early release in February 2021, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and being overweight with hypertension, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci denied Taddeo’s request, ruling there wasn’t sufficient proof that Taddeo was at higher risk than the rest of the population.

It was unclear why Taddeo failed to return to his halfway house on March 28.

It remains unclear what charges Taddeo may face in light of his escape and what effect they would have on his scheduled release.

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