Codfather’s Sentencing Hearing


The owner of the largest concentration of New England groundfish permits and fishing vessels will be at a sentencing hearing June 27, 2017 at the Ist U. S. District Federal courthouse on the waterfront in Boston, MA. Carlos Rafael (aka. The Codfather) of New Bedford pled guilty and is expected to serve about fours years in prison for false statements on landings slips, money laundering and income tax evasion.

The U.S. government will seize 13 vessels and permits, but Rafael will still have another 8 vessels and two dozen permits on which the government has not indicated any restrictions. For other fishermen currently fishing, hoping to enter or re-enter the fishery the question is – what happens to those permits?

Some fishermen have said the seized permits and the two dozen others should be seized. Additionally, the Port of New Bedford’s shoreside industries that serviced and maintained Rafael’s 21 large fishing vessels are oncerned about the possible loss of those vessels to another port.