Investigators seize boat from Hermitage man, Chase Cominsky, accused of fishing scandal


HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) — Investigators have seized a boat and trailer from a fisherman accused of cheating during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship in Ohio last month.

Pete Acker, the district attorney of Mercer County, Pennsylvania, said the items were taken as evidence, as they were allegedly used during the cheating scandal.

The seized Ranger Pro Fisherman boat is registered to fisherman Chase Cominsky of Hermitage, Pennsylvania. Authorities say he and his partner Jacob Runyan, of Cleveland, are facing charges after they were accused of putting lead weights in the fish they caught during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, last month.

According to a search warrant, all five fish that the pair caught were found to have lead weights inside of them.

News of the fishing scandal made national headlines last month after footage from the fishing tournament went viral on social media. Jason Fischer, the organizer of the championship, could be seen confronting the fishermen with the weights in some of the clips.

Fischer told Nexstar he initially became suspicious after feeling “hard objects inside the belly of one of the fish.”

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.

Acker said he was contacted last week by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to assist in obtaining the warrant for the local seizure. On Tuesday, both the boat and trailer were taken from the Hermitage home.

“We work cooperatively with our partners, whether it’s the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office or ODNR or any other law enforcement,” Acker said.

In recent years, Runyan and Cominsky have won a slew of fishing tournaments with cash awards and major prizes, including a fishing boat. The Toledo Blade reports that the pair finished in first place in the three Lake Erie Walleye Trail events this year, pocketing tens of thousands of dollars in addition to prizes from other contests.

The search warrant states that the two were also being investigated by the Rossford Police Department in Ohio on allegations of cheating in a fishing tournament on April 22.

Chelsea Simeon contributed to this report.

Source link

Related Articles