Bristol Co. Sheriff’s Captain Charged in ‘Codfather’ Scheme

BOSTON – A Bristol County Sheriff’s Captain was arrested Wednesday in connection with the investigation into the New Bedford fishing mogul known as “The Codfather.”

James Melo, 45, is accused of helping Carlos Rafael smuggle the profits of an illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal. He is charged with bulk cash smuggling, structuring and conspiracy.

Melo could face up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

According to prosecutors, Rafael told undercover agents that Melo was one of the people who helped him smuggle the cash from his illegal fishing sales to Portugal. Melo was described by Rafael as “a captain at the prison,” and was one of multiple members of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office mentioned to agents during a 2015 discussion, according to prosecutors.

Later in 2015, agents tracked Melo and Rafael to Logan Airport before they boarded a flight for Portugal. Prosecutors allege Melo coordinated that flight to help Rafael get $76,000 to Portugal and distributed envelopes with cash to multiple acquaintances on the flight.

TSA agents found Rafael with $27,000 before that flight.

Rafael, the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing operations in the United States, pleaded guilty in March to evading fishing quotas and smuggling money to Portugal.

About NewsCenter

The award-winning NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy