CLEVELAND – The Fox 8 I-Team has learned two men accused of cheating at a recent fishing competition have now been indicted on several charges.
Chase Cominski and Jacob Runyan were indicted Wednesday by a Cuyahoga County grand jury for cheating, attempted grand theft, possessing criminal tools, and the unlawful ownership of wild animals during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament in September 2022.
The indictment comes one day after a boat and trailer were seized at Cominski’s home in Hermitage, Pa.
According to documents from the Mercer County District Attorney’s Office and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the boat and trailer were taken by investigators as they continue to investigate the allegations that the two cheated in the Sept. 30 fishing tournament sponsored by Lake Erie Walleye Trail.
The investigation started after the local tournament director discovered that the two fishermen considered the team to beat inflated the weight of their catch by stuffing the fish with lead sinkers and then padding the inside of the walleye with fillets, preventing judges from discovering the added weight.
Other competitors in the final event of the Lake Erie Walleye Trail at Gordon Park in Cleveland angrily confronted one of the suspects, Runyan of Cleveland, while his partner, Cominsky of Hermitage, Pa, quickly retreated to his truck and locked the doors.
In recent years, the pair won a slew of fishing tournaments with cash awards and major prizes that included a fishing boat, in what some thought was the most incredible run of luck ever on Lake Erie.