Federal agents today raided a New Bedford commercial fishing business, arresting prominent boat owner Carlos Rafael and his bookkeeper, Debra Messier, both of Dartmouth.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says both are charged with conspiracy and submitting false records to the federal government to evade federal fishing quotas. Both are scheduled to appear in U-S District Court in Boston later this afternoon.

The complaint alleges the pair lied to federal authorities about the quantity and species of fish brought in by his boats. Rafael allegedly sold the unreported fish to a business in New York in exchange for bags of cash.  Rafael allegedly smuggled some of the cash through Logan Airport to Portugal.

The U-S Attorney's Office said Rafael outlined the scheme to a pair of undercover federal agents in January who were posing as organized crime figures looking to buy his business. Rafael allegedly told the agents he earned $668,000 in less than six months during his recent dealings with the New York buyers.

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