(DailyVantage.com) – Two anglers are going to jail after they were discovered lying about the weight of their catch in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament. The affidavits used to get the search warrant said that five walleye had lead weights and fillets. The fish were taken as evidence by Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources officers.
Prosecutors agreed to drop four charges against the fisherman in return for their guilty pleas to one felony count of cheating in a competition and one misdemeanor count of improper ownership of wild animals in March. The Ohio Division of Wildlife took possession of the $130,000 boat they used in the event. In addition, their fishing permits were revoked for a maximum of three years.
Judge Steven Gall of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court gave 10-day jail terms to Jacob Runyan, 43, of Ashtabula, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky, 36, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, on Thursday. If they break probation, they must pay a $2,500 fine and serve additional jail time. Runyan and Cominsky each risk up to one year in prison if they violate the terms of their probation.
When the combined weight of Runyan and Cominsky’s catch topped that of more than sixty other two-person teams, it looked like they had won the $28,000 reward. However, their fish were bloating in ways that raised eyebrows. When a tournament official sliced one of the fish open, scale weights and fish meat flew everywhere.
Assistant County Prosecutor Andrew Rogalski stated they would forever be branded “thieves and cheaters,” and no one should feel sorry for them.
Gregory Gentile, the men’s attorney, said his clients agreed they would never enter another fishing event.
There’s no end in sight for their public shaming. Whether they are trying to get a girlfriend or a job, this case will always come up in a Google search.
A video (with foul language) of them being caught can be seen HERE.
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