Investigators seize the boat of Hermitage man Chase Cominsky, who is accused of the fishing scandal
HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) – Investigators have seized a boat and trailer from a fisherman accused of fraud during last month’s Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship in Ohio.
Mercer County, Pennsylvania District Attorney Pete Acker said the items were taken as evidence because they were allegedly used during the fraud scandal.
The impounded Ranger Pro Fisherman boat is registered to fisherman Chase Cominsky of Hermitage, Pennsylvania. Authorities say he and his Cleveland partner Jacob Runyan will be charged after they were accused of placing lead weights in the fish they caught during last month’s Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
According to a search warrant, lead weights were found in all five fish the couple caught.
News of the fishing scandal made national headlines last month after footage of the fishing tournament went viral on social media. Championship organizer Jason Fischer was seen in a couple of clips confronting the fishermen with the weights.
Fischer told Nexstar he was initially suspicious after feeling “hard objects in the stomach of one of the fish.”
Tournament organizers immediately disqualified Runyan and Cominsky and contacted police and state wildlife officials, who forwarded a report to the Cuyahoga County Attorney’s Office.
Acker said he was contacted last week by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Cuyahoga County Attorney’s Office to help obtain the warrant for the local seizure. Both the boat and trailer were brought home from the Hermitage on Tuesday.
“We work cooperatively with our partners, whether it be the Cuyahoga County Attorney’s Office or ODNR or any other law enforcement agency,” Acker said.
In recent years, Runyan and Cominsky have won a number of fishing tournaments with cash prizes and big prizes, including a fishing boat. The Toledo Blade reports that the pair finished first in three Lake Erie Walleye Trail events this year, pocketing tens of thousands of dollars alongside prizes from other competitions.
The search warrant says the two were also being investigated by the Rossford Police Department in Ohio over allegations of fraud at an April 22 fishing tournament.
Chelsea Simeon contributed to this report.
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https://wgntv.com/news/nexstar-media-wire/investigators-seize-boat-from-fisherman-accused-in-cheating-scandal/ Investigators seize the boat of Hermitage man Chase Cominsky, who is accused of the fishing scandal