Walleye Tournament Cheaters Sent To Jail - The Fisherman

Walleye Tournament Cheaters Sent To Jail


Remember the two walleye tournament fishermen accused of cheating during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail fishing tournament last September?  They were the ones who got busted at the scale when the tournament organizers cut open their fish and found the bellies stuffed with lead weights! Well, proving this time that crime does not pay, those two anglers will serve jail time for the crime, according to court documents from a May 11th sentencing hearing.

As part of an agreement reached in March, Jacob Runyan and Chase Comnisky pleaded guilty to charges of cheating and of unlawful ownership of wild animals. Additional charges of attempted grand theft and possessing criminal tools were dropped as part of the plea deal.

According to the court documents, Runyan and Cominsky will each serve 10 days in jail and six months’ probation, and are required to forfeit their boat and trailer to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

The men will also each pay a $2,500 fine, though the court said half the fine may be suspended if Runyan and Cominsky chose to make a charitable donation of $1,250 to a non-profit organization instead.  The judge also imposed a three-year suspension of their state fishing licenses.

According to WJW-TV of Cleveland, the convicted tournament duo sounded contrite in their admissions before the court.  “I just wanna apologize to everyone,” Cominsky said at the hearing, adding “It’s a bad situation and it’s something I wish I could say it didn’t happen.”

Runyan called it “the most ignorant decision I’ve ever made in my life” in his apology to the court and “to everybody.”

“They’re forever going to be branded with the labels of cheaters and thieves,” said Assistant County Prosecutor Andrew Rogalski. “After today, they’ll be convicted felons. And nobody should feel bad for them, because they deserve this and they earned this.”