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‘Crooks’ who cheated in fishing competition by stuffing catches with weights jailed

A walleye fish is measured (stock photo)  (Star Tribune via Getty Images)
A walleye fish is measured (stock photo) (Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Two men who cheated in a fishing competition by stuffing their catches with weights have been jailed for 10 days and had their fishing licenses suspended.

Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky were also fined $2,500 (£2,000) and Cominsky was ordered to forfeit the boat he used during Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament in Cleveland in September 2022.

In March both Runyan and Cominsky pleaded guilty to a felony charge of cheating.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said: “I have no doubt that these two crooks cheated in multiple tournaments over the last several years.

“Unfortunately, we can only hold them accountable for what they did on September 30 2022.”

He added: “Although these two deserve to have their fishing license suspended for life, the law only allows a maximum of three years.

“These two should be banned from every fishing tournament for life. They are thieves and now they are convicted felons. This sends a message to the fishing community that cheaters will be held accountable in Cuyahoga County.”

The compeition in September was to see which fisherman could catch five of the heaviest walleye fish in Lake Erie, with a cash prize of nearly $29,000 at stake.

The director of the tournament, Jason Fischer, noticed Runyan and Cominsky’s walleyes weighed more than they looked and sliced open the fish, finding 10 weights inside: eight weighing 12 ounces, and two weighing eight ounces, along with several prepared walleye filets, the prosecutor’s office said. They were immediately disqualified and told to leave.