NEW BEDFORD — The remaining 11 vessels in Carlos “Codfather” Rafael’s fleet have been sold off, and they’re all staying in New Bedford.

In a $40 million deal, Quinn Fisheries, of New Bedford, will purchase six of the remaining 11 vessels in Rafael’s fleet. The other five ships have been sold to other businesses in the port.

Mayor Jon Mitchell and Port Director Ed-Anthes Washburn joined Michael and Charlie Quinn at Merill’s Wharf to make the announcement. The Mayor thanked the business owners, saying the acquisition helps make sure the fish continue to come into New Bedford.

“The reality is that we lucked out in some ways, but more than luck we had skill and determination on the part of Charlie and Mike Quinn, who are already running a very successful fishing business as well as a vessel repair business. They’re expanding that in a big way in the harbor up in the Revere Copper Brass site,” said Mayor Mitchell.

“Scalloping is the most profitable fishery in the United States. It all comes from an awful lot here in New Bedford. We’re just really pleased you guys stepped up in the way you had. Our Port Director, Ed Washburn, whose been fighting the fight with us all along, feels the same way. I just want to say congratulations to you and your family, and on behalf of the City and the Port of New Bedford I just wanted to thank you.”

Charlie and Michael Quinn say the vessels should be in the water and operational within the coming weeks. They also say they already have the existing workforce to fill all open needed positions on the six vessels.

“It was a big opportunity for us to take the vessels on and expand our business. We’re happy we can keep the jobs here in New Bedford and get everybody back on the water,” Michael Quinn said.

Rafael pleaded guilty in March of 2017 to one count of conspiring to commit offenses against the United States, 23 counts of false labeling and fish identification, two counts of falsifying federal records, one count of bulk cash smuggling, and one count of tax evasion. He was initially arrested and charged in February 2016.

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