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Bristol sheriff’s captain convicted in ‘Codfather’ case

A captain in the Bristol County sheriff’s office was convicted Sunday by a federal jury in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, the New Bedford fishing magnate, smuggle profits from his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal, the US Attorney’s office in Boston said in a statement.

Jamie Melo, 46, of Dartmouth was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and one count of structuring the export of monetary instruments. He was acquitted of one count of bulk cash smuggling. Melo was indicted October 2017.

Rafael, known as “The Codfather,” allegedly told undercover agents that he would conduct his smuggling schemes sometimes by himself and sometimes using others.


During the trial, evidence showed that Melo traveled with Rafael to the Azores in Portugal for a charity event sponsored by the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. At the time, Melo was an administrative captain with the sheriff’s office.

Before the flight, Melo took three of his travel companions into the men’s bathroom at Logan Airport before going through security. He asked his companions to carry cash for Rafael and gave each of the companions an envelope of cash, taking one for himself.

Records show that two days after arriving in Portugal Rafael deposited $76,000 in US currency into his Portuguese bank account.

Melo’s sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 24.

Sophia Eppolito can be reached at sophia.eppolito@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @SophiaEppolito.