January 20, 2018
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Chellie Pingree wants more charges brought against ‘Codfather’ fishing tycoon

By AP
Updated:
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree prepares to speak at a news conference in Portland in this BDN file photo.

Two U.S. representatives say a fishing magnate known as “The Codfather,” who pleaded guilty to evading fishing quotas, should also be charged under federal fishery laws.

Carlos Rafael also pleaded guilty to smuggling money to Portugal and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in September. But Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul M. Grijalva and Maine Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree say more penalties are warranted.

The representatives say Rafael should be charged for violations of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The charges to which Rafael pleaded guilty were violations of the Lacey Act, which covers illegal trade in animals and plants.

A federal judge ordered that Rafael must forfeit four boats and 34 fishing permits. Investigators say he misidentified fish his vessels caught and sold them for cash. He was based in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

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