La mode

Dominic Taddeo, Escaped Mob Hit Man, Is Recaptured in Florida

Looks like Dominic Taddeo’s big breakout was more like a spring break.

Mr. Taddeo, the fearsome hit man from upstate New York who walked away from a Florida halfway house last week, was recaptured “without incident” on Monday, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The apprehension — in Hialeah, Fla., near Miami — came exactly a week after Mr. Taddeo took an unofficial detour after an “authorized medical appointment” and did not return to his halfway house, northwest of Orlando, prompting an escape warning from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

In a statement, U.S. Marshal Bill Berger of the Middle District of Florida credited the “tenacious work of the involved deputy marshals” and various law enforcement agencies for “the quick capture of Mr. Taddeo.”

Mr. Taddeo, 64, had been in the homestretch of a lengthy prison term, less than a year from his projected release, related to his killing of three men in the early 1980s, as part of a Rochester-area crime family. He had a bevy of other convictions as well, involving guns and drugs.

He served his time at a medium-security correctional facility in Sumterville, Fla., before being transferred to a nearby residential halfway house in mid-February.

His weeklong walkabout was not his first attempt to get out of prison: In late 2020, Mr. Taddeo applied for compassionate release because of concerns about contracting Covid in prison, a request that was denied by a federal judge, Frank P. Geraci Jr.

In his decision, the judge noted Mr. Taddeo’s lengthy criminal career, an unlawful path that began at the age of 16 and peaked, in horrific fashion, with the murders of three men and reputed mob associates — Nicholas Mastrodonato, Gerald Pelusio and Dino Tortatice — in 1982 and 1983.

Mr. Taddeo had also attempted to murder a mob leader, Thomas Marotta, shooting him on two separate occasions. The murders — and unsuccessful attempts — resulted in racketeering convictions in the early 1990s, and led to his stay in the federal prison system.

Last week’s escape was also not Mr. Taddeo’s first unauthorized jaunt: In 1987, Mr. Taddeo jumped bail, before being captured two years later. His suspected activities during that period were no less frightening: Federal authorities speculated at the time that Mr. Taddeo was involved in a plot to break a Colombian drug lord out of an Illinois prison.

Mr. Taddeo had once cut an imposing figure: a 1990 file photo showed a smirking wiseguy in a white T-shirt, clutching a cigarette pack even as a butt hung from his lips. But in court documents related to his recent attempt at a Covid-related release, Mr. Taddeo complained of health effects stemming from high blood pressure and being overweight.

A photo released last week by the Bureau of Prisons, post escape, showed a balding, doughy Mr. Taddeo, gazing somewhat warily into the camera.

Some mob-story aficionados had wondered why Mr. Taddeo had chosen to go on the lam so close to his release date, scheduled for February 2023.

“I figured he had a plan,” said Gary Jenkins, a former police mafia investigator whose podcast, “Gangland Wire,” recently featured a segment on Mr. Taddeo. “And outside help.”