COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, PA – Danelo Cavalcante, a convict who had broken out of Chester County Prison, was taken into custody in northern Chester County early Wednesday morning, ending a two-week manhunt, Pennsylvania State Police confirmed. The operation was carried out without a single shot being fired, demonstrating the tactical expertise of the law enforcement teams involved.
The arrest was the culmination of a joint effort between State Police and U.S. Border agents, who used thermal technology to pinpoint Cavalcante’s location. A severe thunderstorm delayed the immediate arrest, but the teams maintained their positions, ensuring the fugitive was unable to escape.
The operation was conducted with such stealth that Cavalcante was caught by surprise. When the teams moved in, Cavalcante tried to evade them by crawling through dense undergrowth. A police dog was deployed and managed to subdue Cavalcante, who was later treated for a minor bite wound.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection members who participated in the operation were BORTAC agents, an elite unit renowned for their apprehension skills. They have been involved in high-profile cases in the past, including the capture of escaped inmates in the 2015 Dannemora prison break in New York and the arrest of a mass shooter in Cleveland, Texas earlier this year.
The manhunt for Cavalcante involved over 500 law enforcement officers from various state, local and federal agencies. The search covered challenging, wooded terrain and led to several school districts closing for multiple days.
Cavalcante had escaped from Chester County Prison on August 31. He was awaiting transfer to a state prison to serve a life sentence for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend in 2021. He was also wanted for a murder in Brazil in 2017. Following the escape, the corrections officer on duty was dismissed, and the prison has since implemented changes to enhance security.
In a joint statement, Chester County Commissioners expressed their gratitude to law enforcement, the community, businesses and school districts for their support throughout the search. They also announced immediate changes to the Chester County Prison to enhance security and improve communication with residents living near the prison.