Charges dropped against Rafael’s bookkeeper

BOSTON — Federal prosecutors moved Monday to dismiss the charges against Dartmouth resident Debra Messier, the longtime bookkeeper for indicted fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, after her case had sat largely idle since her February arrest.

The motion likely clears Messier of potential penalties — pending a judge’s ruling — ahead of Rafael’s federal trial, slated for January 2017 at U.S. District Court in Boston.

Rafael and Messier were arrested Feb. 26 on charges of conspiracy and submitting falsified records to the government, after federal authorities raided the Carlos Seafood building on New Bedford’s waterfront.

Messier was released from custody the same day on a $10,000 bond. Prosecutors said Monday’s dismissal motion was filed “in the interests of justice.”

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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