Fishermen in Cheating Scandal Get Jail Time

10 days, plus probation and fines
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2023 1:06 AM CDT
Fishermen in Cheating Scandal Learn Their Fate
Jacob Runyan, left, and Chase Cominsky, sit in court as they are arraigned, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Mark Gillispie)

The two men who pleaded guilty to cheating at an Ohio fishing tournament last year were sentenced Thursday to 10 days behind bars, WBAY reports. Jacob Runyan, 43, and Chase Cominsky, 36, also received a year and a half each of probation, USA Today reports, and they will each pay a $2,500 fine, half of which will be donated to a children's fishing charity. Runyan and Cominsky admitted to using lead weights to make their walleye catches heavier. As part of the plea deal, Cominsky also forfeited his $130,000 bass boat, and both men had their fishing licenses suspended for three years.

"This was the end of a long season where Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky had a curious run of success—such that other officials in that tournament suspected foul play," an assistant county prosecutor said at the sentencing. Runyan apologized to the court and "to everybody," calling the incident "the most ignorant decision I’ve ever made in my life." Said their defense attorney, "There’s seemingly endless public humiliation for these guys. These guys are going to have to suffer this forever; when they go on a date, when they find a job. When they get Googled, this case is gonna show up forever." (More fishing stories.)

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