CLEVELAND – A video has gone viral after two professional fishermen were caught cheating by inserting items into their trophy fish before weight off. These two fishermen are being sentenced to prison.
In September during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship event a professional fishing series two men anglers, Chase Cominsky from Pennsylvania, and his partner, Jake Runyon from Ohio are the two competitors that have been accused of the scandal.
In a viral video, you can see the anglers weighing in their catches for the day, and slowly putting them at the top of the leaderboard, winnings thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, but officials saw something wrong during the weigh-off and started to investigate. The official uses a knife and cuts open the fish and all fish had lead weights inside. A total of eight weights and some fish fillets were in the stomachs of the fish hidden from the public.
Before the scandal, the duo was in the standing to be the professional fishing team of the year, which would have had a large windfall of cash of more than 70,000 dollars, sponsorships, and prizes. It is rumored that the duo has won over six figures in the past.
The two pro fishermen were disqualified from the contest, but it didn’t end there. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley indicted them on several felony charges in March the duo took a plea bargain and agreed to plead guilty to one count of cheating, a fifth-degree felony, and the fourth-degree misdemeanor of unlawful ownership of wild animals. In the deal, they agreed to have fishing licenses suspended for up to three years as part of their plea. They also had to forfeit Cominsky’s Ranger bass boat, valued at $100,000, to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. A 2,500-dollar fine and 10 days in jail.