There are now two Bristol County Sheriff's Deputies charged in the famed "Codfather" illegal fish and money smuggling crime. The latest alleged crooked cop is a Captain by rank. James Melo slapped in federal court on conspiracy and bulk cash smuggling charges. If found guilty, the Captain could spend quite a few years behind bars along with a stiff financial penalty.

Another Bristol County deputy, Antonio Freitas, faces similar charges for helping Carlos Rafael smuggle thousands of bucks into Portugal. Clearly, the "Codfather" (Rafael) has big connections within law enforcement circles.

While all this is going on, Sheriff Tom Hodgson is proposing to send some of his inmates to help with clean-up efforts following hurricane Harvey. I believe the Sheriff is well meaning. The offer is a grand jesture. But, this is a case of a good idea at the wrong time.

The Sheriff contends the federal government will pay for feeding, housing and all of the associated costs. [Read: taxpayers will fund a goodly portion of the estimated $160 B in damages.] If it could happen. State lawmakers have a say over sending Baystate deputies out of state. Recall, Hodgson is the same sheriff looking to have his inmates build the wall along the Mexico border.

Sheriff Hodgson has bigger fish to fry, right now. Two of his wing men are fingered in one of the biggest illegal fishing and money smuggling rings in the area. Who knows if or how many on his staff are involved? It's imperative for Hodgson to investigate the crap going on with his deputies, before lending staff and inmates to drain the Houston swamp. Anything less from the elected sheriff and our trust in him will be deeper underwater than some of the homes in the Houston area.

Editor’s Note:   Brian Thomas is the host of Brian’s Beat on 1420 WBSM New Bedford.  He can be heard weekdays from 10am-Noon and Saturdays from 6am-9am.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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