Carlos Rafael, the notorious former "Codfather" of the New Bedford waterfront, has reportedly been sprung from federal prison early.

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Scott Taylor tells Undercurrent News that the former fisheries mogul, who just turned 68, has been moved from Federal Medical Center Devens in Massachusetts and is now under jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Residential Reentry Program. That means Rafael is either in home confinement or at a residential re-entry center, otherwise known as a halfway house, Taylor told the industry news source.

The BOP spokesperson declined to say exactly where Rafael is now, or when the move was made, citing privacy, safety, and security concerns. But Rafael is apparently no longer at the Devens federal detention center for those with medical issues.

Rafael was 65 when on Sept. 15, 2017, he was sentenced to 46 months in prison to begin Nov. 6. Under those terms, Rafael would have remained incarcerated until September of 2021. However, prison records show Rafael with a March 4, 2021 release date. Taylor did not tell the media source why the sentence was shortened by six months.

Although it's not known why Rafael was released, the news comes as many older and sick non-violent prisoners are being released from detention due to coronavirus concerns. A number of lawsuits have been filed, and the Bureau of Prisons has discretion under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to place inmates in home confinement. The FMC Devens prison has had dozens of COVID-19 cases.

Rafael pleaded guilty in March 2017 to 28 criminal counts after he was caught in a federal sting by undercover agents pretending to be corrupt Russian businessmen interested in buying his fleet. Rafael was recorded telling the men how he played the system to mislabel fish hauls to fraudulently rake in millions. Among other things, Rafael was convicted of tax fraud and smuggling cash out of the country. The case made national headlines.

In addition to prison, Rafael was ordered to pay $3 million in civil fines, sell all his vessels, and get out of the fishing business forever. His "CR"-marked vessels have been repaired, repainted, and repurposed by other enterprises operating out of New Bedford harbor.

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