Lake Erie Walleye Cheaters Charged with Felonies
Eugene L. 10.20.22
Earlier this month we covered the Lake Erie Ohio Walleye Tournament cheating scandal, wherein a team of two anglers at a Lake Erie Walleye Trail (LEWT) fishing event were caught cheating. The two men, Jacob Runyan, 42, and Chase Cominsky, 35, used multiple 12oz lead weights, chunks of other walleyes, and other odds and ends to pad their 5 fish bag to 33lbs. If the pair had won the tournament, they would have received a total prize of $28,760. While they escaped physically unharmed from the tournament, that doesn’t mean they got away scot-free.
The two fishermen Jacob Runyan, 42, and Chase Cominsky, 35, were indicted in Cleveland this week on felony charges of cheating, attempted grand theft, possessing criminal tools, and misdemeanor charges of unlawfully owning wild animals. The two men are facing up to a year in prison and a $2500 fine on each of the three felonies. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.
“I take all crime very seriously, and I believe what these two individuals attempted to do was not only dishonorable but also criminal”, said Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley. “I would like to formally thank the officers with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Hermitage Pennsylvania Police Department, the Mercer County District Attorney’s Office, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for their quick actions and their execution of a search warrant resulting in the seizure of criminal tools, including Defendant Cominsky’s boat and trailer.”
Along with these charges, authorities executed a search warrant at Cominsky’s residence on Tuesday, October 11, and seized Chase Cominsky’s boat and trailer. The seized boat was used during the fishing tournament and is now in the possession Ohio Department of Natural Resources. These two cheats weren’t able to escape justice this time and are facing up to 3 years and a month of jail time along with up to $7750 fines, along with losing their boat. While nothing has been said yet, more than likely the two men will have the rest of their fishing gear seized along with being banned from fishing in state waters.