CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – A Cuyahoga County grand jury returned an indictment against two fishermen, one from Hermitage, who were accused in a fishing competition scandal.
Jacob Runyan, 42, and Chase Cominsky, 35, are charged with cheating, attempted grand theft, possessing criminal tools and unlawful ownership of wild animals.
Runyan and Cominsky were accused of putting lead weights in the fish they caught during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship in Cuyahoga County last month. According to a search warrant in the case, all five fish that the pair caught were found to have lead weights inside of them.
Organizers of the tournament immediately disqualified Runyan and Cominsky and contacted police and state wildlife officers, who forwarded a report to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
If the two won the tournament, they would have received a total prize of $28,760.
“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.
Tuesday, investigators seized a boat and trailer belonging to Cominsky at a home on N. Keel Ridge Road in Hermitage.
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The boat, which was used in the fishing tournament, is now in the possession of ODNR in a secure location.