Dominic Taddeo, a notorious local mob hitman who killed three people and failed in two other attempted homicides, has escaped from federal custody, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.
Taddeo, 64, was only a year from his scheduled release from prison.
Taddeo had been imprisoned at a medium-security facility in Coleman, Florida. He was transferred to a residential halfway house in February that works with incarcerated men and women scheduled for release.
Records show that Taddeo went to an approved medical appointment on March 28 and did not return. Information was not immediately available about the security for the appointment.
The Bureau of Prisons inmate website shows Taddeo as having escaped on March 28.
In that denial, U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci Jr. noted Taddeo’s criminal record, writing: “Taddeo’s prior convictions are for crimes including assault, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and, most notably, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) conspiracy arising from his employment and association with Rochester’s La Cosa Nostra organized crime family.
“The RICO charges involve the murder of three individuals, attempted murder of two more individuals, and conspiracy to murder a fifth person,” Geraci wrote.
A contract killer, Taddeo fatally shot three men — Nicholas Mastrodonato, Gerald Pelusio, and Dino Tortatice — in 1982 and 1983, though he would not be linked to those killings for years to come.
Facing federal firearms charges, Taddeo was released on bail in 1987. He then disappeared.
Over the next two years, Taddeo used more than two dozen aliases while living across the East and Midwest. With the help of an informant, authorities learned that Taddeo was en route to meet his brother in Cleveland. They found him there.
Taddeo pleaded guilty in 1992 in federal court in Rochester to RICO crimes, and was sentenced to 54 years by the late U.S. District Judge Michael Telesca. Records show that in recent years Taddeo has had a clean disciplinary record in prison and has taken advantage of numerous educational opportunities.
Bespectacled and slightly overweight, Taddeo was not one whose appearance screamed “Mafia hitman.” But his Everyman demeanor may well have been to his advantage in his chosen illicit profession.
Oddly, Taddeo is best remembered locally not for his murders but for two failed assassination attempts on mob captain Thomas Marotta. Those bungled hits came during the internecine wars between Rochester’s organized crime circles, deadly wars between factions labeled the “A Team” and “B Team.”
Taddeo was contracted to kill Marotta, a popular mob figure. In April 1983, Taddeo ripped off 11 shots from a .22-caliber, striking Marotta with six as Marotta left an apartment in Irondequoit. Marotta survived.
Taddeo tried again in November 1983, hitting Marotta with three of 10 shots.
“He had a ton of lead in him,” now retired City Court Judge Melchor Castro, who prosecuted mob figures, once told the Democrat and Chronicle of the shootings. “It was really incredible (he survived).”
In an undercover tape, Marotta once complained about the attempts on his life, largely because it impacted his golf game.
Remembering the April 1993 murder attempt, Marotta said in a conversation caught on undercover tape, “A gorgeous (expletive) summer’s coming up. I said, ‘Minga, I can’t stand it. I’ll play one-handed.’ “
Contact Gary Craig at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at gcraig1.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Dominic Taddeo, notorious mob hitman, escapes federal custody