Captain with Bristol County Sheriff's Office Convicted of Smuggling Profits to Portugal

Defendant helped smuggle money overseas for the “Codfather”

BOSTON – A Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was convicted today by a federal jury in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, known as the Codfather in the fishing industry, and the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the U.S., smuggle the profits of his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal.

Jamie Melo, 46, of North Dartmouth, Mass., was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and one count of structuring the export of monetary instruments. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24, 2018.  The jury acquitted the defendant of one count of bulk cash smuggling.

During the trial, evidence showed that while at Logan International Airport Melo asked his friends and travel companions to carry envelopes of cash for Rafael on a flight to the Azores in Portugal. At the time, Melo was an Administrative Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and was traveling to the Azores with Rafael for a charity event sponsored by the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to the flight, Melo asked three of travel companions to follow him into the men’s bathroom at Logan Airport before going through the TSA Security Checkpoint and distributed four envelopes of cash, taking one for himself. Two days after arriving in Portugal, bank records demonstrate that Rafael deposited $76,000 in U.S. currency into his Portuguese bank account.

The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of structuring the export of monetary instruments provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Mark Tasky, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Philadelphia Field Office; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Gallagher and Justin O’Connell of Lelling’s Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.


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