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Fishermen who cheated by stuffing catch with weights handed 10-day prison sentences

Fishermen who cheated by stuffing catch with weights handed 10-day prison sentences

A pair of fishermen have been handed their sentences after stuffing their fish with weights to win a tournament

A pair of fishermen have been handed their sentences after stuffing their fish with weights to win a tournament.

During the Lake Erie Walleye Trail (LEWT) fishing tournament in Ohio last year, the competition's director and police officer Jason Fischer - yes, that really is his name - smelt something fishy not long after Chase Cominsky, 36, and Jake Runyan, 43, took top spot, alongside a fairly hefty $28,760 (£23,104), as per CBS News.

Unluckily for Cominsky and Runyan, the prize money slipped from their hands before they'd even left the event, after Fischer sliced open the five prize-winning walleye fish to find a number of small weights inside the catch, as well as other fish fillets.

While Cominsky and Runyan weren't made to walk the plankton for their cheating, they have since received their punishment from police.

Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky were sentenced on Thursday, 11 May.
Alamy Stock Photo/ Associated Press

The moment the pair were discovered as having cheated was caught on camera and uploaded to social media.

Cominsky and Runyan's actions caused widespread outrage across the fishing community, with many contestants urging Fischer to file a police report.

And file an o-fish-ial report the director and police officer subsequently did, but what's happened to Cominsky and Runyan as a result?

The pair were caught having stuffed weights and other fish fillets in their catch.
Facebook/ Lake Eries Walleye Trail

After pleading guilty back in March to cheating but also the unlawful ownership of wild animals, the fishing duo were sentenced on Thursday, 11 May.

Both Cominsky and Runyan were found guilty of one count of cheating, a fifth-degree felony and the unlawful ownership of wild animals; but the charges of attempted grand theft and the possession of criminal tools were dropped by prosecutors during the plea hearing.

The pair were ordered to give up their fishing boat - reported as being worth around $100,000 (£80,000) - as well as each being slapped with a 10-day county jail sentence, a year-and-a-half probation and a $2,500 fine.

However, if Cominsky and Runyan each make a $1,250 donation to a nonprofit organisation which supports children's fishing then the fine will be halved.

But if they break their probation they'll get marched back to county jail for an extra 30 days.

Cominsky and Runyan have also had their fishing licenses suspended for three years.

Prosecutor Michael O'Malley resolved, as per CBS News: "Although these two deserve to have their fishing license suspended for life, the law only allows a maximum of three years.

"These two should be banned from every fishing tournament for life. They are thieves and now they are convicted felons."

Featured Image Credit: Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo/Twitter/@Billyhottakes

Topics: Fishing, Animals, Money, Crime, True Crime, US News