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John Sladewski /Standard Times via AP/Carlos Rafael, talking on the phone in 2014 near his herring boat F/V Voyager in New Bedford, is due to be sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to evading fishing quotas and smuggling money to Portugal.

The specter of Carlos Rafael, along with his legal baggage and trove of groundfish permits, continues to hang over the New England commercial fishing industry like a shroud that most stakeholders wish would just go away.

The sentencing of Rafael, the New Bedford fishing magnate known as “The Codfather” for his expansive vessel and groundfish permit holdings, is set to begin Monday in U.S. District Court in Boston on charges of conspiracy, lying to federal fishing regulators about the nature and size of his groundfish landings and bulk smuggling.

“We can’t wait for this to be resolved,” said Maggie Raymond of the Associated Fisheries of Maine.

The sentencing of the 65-year-old Rafael, who pleaded guilty in March as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, won’t end the contretemps. Not by a long shot.

 

 

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