Ex- Sheriff’s captain sentenced in Codfather smuggling scheme

Jamie Melo, a former captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department, was sentenced this week for his participation Carlos “the Codfather” Rafael’s scheme to smuggle profits from a quota skirting operation to Portugal.

Melo, 46, of North Dartmouth, Mass., was sentenced to one year of probation, the first eight months to be served in home confinement by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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 in June. The jury acquitted Melo of one count of bulk cash smuggling.

Melo assisted in smuggling illegal profits from Rafael’s New Bedford-based business to Portugal.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, evidence showed that while at Logan International Airport, Melo asked his travel companions to carry envelopes of cash for Rafael on a flight to the Azores Islands in Portugal.

At that 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.

According to prosecutors, Melo asked three of his travel companions to follow him into the bathroom at the airport before going through the TSA Security Checkpoint prior to the flight, where he distributed four envelopes of cash to his companions, taking one for himself, prosecutors said. Two days after arriving in Portugal, bank records demonstrate that Rafael deposited $76,000 in U.S. currency into his Portuguese bank account.

Melo is one of two men associated with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office who assisted Rafael with smuggling profits to Portugal.

In October last year, Antonio Freitas, a former Bristol County Sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to serve 366 days in prison for smuggling cash to Portugal. He was convicted by a federal jury on one count of bulk cash smuggling and one count of structuring the export of U.S. currency.

Rafael is serving a nearly four-year sentence in prison.

About the author

Samuel Hill

Samuel Hill is associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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