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Former Captain with Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Sentenced for Smuggling Profits to Portugal

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For Immediate Release

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Defendant helped smuggle money overseas for the “Codfather”

BOSTON – A former Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was sentenced today 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 sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to one year of probation, with the first eight months to be served in home confinement. In June 2018, Melo was convicted by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and one count of structuring the export of monetary instruments. The jury acquitted Melo 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 his travel companions to follow him into the men’s bathroom at Logan Airport before going through the TSA Security Checkpoint. In the bathroom, Melo distributed four envelopes of cash to his companions, 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.

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. Attorneys Neil Gallagher and Justin O’Connell of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.