An angler pleads guilty after claiming he used a fish fillet to win a top contest.fishing

Two men have been accused of trying to win thousands of dollars by stuffing fish with lead weights and fish fillets. Ohio At last year’s tournament, he pleaded guilty this week to charges including cheating.

of allegations of fraud When Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament Director Jason Fischer got suspicious in September, it was revealed that the fish caught by two anglers, Jacob Runian and Chase Kominski, was significantly heavier than a regular walleye. became.

A crowd gathered in Cleveland’s Gordon Park to find Fischer cutting open a walleye with weights and pollock fillets inside.

As part of this week’s deal, Runyan and Cominsky pleaded guilty to fraud and illegal possession of wildlife and agreed to suspend their fishing licenses for three years. Kominsky also agreed to part with a bass boat worth $100,000. Prosecutors agreed to drop the charges of attempted Grand Theft and criminal tool possession.

The two are scheduled to be sentenced in May. The prosecution plans to request six months of probation.

“This plea is the first step in teaching these scammers two basic life lessons. statement“You shall not steal, and crime goes unrewarded.”

The petition is Kominsky’s first step to move on with his life and take full responsibility, said his attorney, Kevin Sperathy. rice field.

The five pollocks contained lead weights and fillets, according to the search warrant affidavit. Ohio Department of Natural Resources officials seized the fish as evidence.

The two appeared to be on their way to winning the contest until their cheating was discovered, and they would have received a prize of just over $28,000.

Court records show Runyan and Cominsky were investigated near Toledo in the spring of 2022 after being accused of cheating at another Walleye tournament. According to the police report, prosecutors concluded that the man may have committed wrongdoing, but there was not enough evidence to charge him.

Ross Robertson, fishing writer and professional angler, told the New York Times Cheating surged last year as prize money increased. He wasn’t surprised that the tournament organizers were suspicious of Runyan and Kominski’s catch.

“It’s like saying someone who’s five feet tall says he weighs 500 pounds, but when you look at him, he looks like an athlete,” Robertson said. “These fish were so bloated.”

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/mar/30/cheating-allegations-fishing-tournament-ohio-weights-fillets-lake-erie-anglers An angler pleads guilty after claiming he used a fish fillet to win a top contest.fishing

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