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Something fishy going on: 10 days in jail for US tournament cheats

By Agence France-Presse Published May 15, 2023 9:37 am

The scales of justice have caught two anglers found cheating during a fishing tournament in the midwestern US state of Ohio.

Jacob Runyan, 43, and Chase Cominsky, 36, were sentenced to 10 days in jail last week for hiding lead weights inside their catch.

Runyan and Cominsky were also fined $2,500 (P140,000) and ordered to forfeit the $130,000 (over P7 million) boat they used during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament in September 2022.

Professional fishing tournaments are popular in the United States with tens of thousands of dollars often at stake.

Cash prizes for the Lake Erie tournament were awarded for the five heaviest walleye caught, with the winner eligible to take home $28,760 (P1.6 million).

When Runyan and Cominsky submitted their fish to be weighed the tournament director was suspicious since they appeared to weigh more than they looked.

Ten lead weights were found stuffed inside the fish when they were sliced open.

The pair were disqualified and police opened an investigation.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Michael O'Malley said he believed Runyan and Cominsky had cheated previously.

"I have no doubt that these two crooks cheated in multiple tournaments over the last several years," O'Malley said in a statement. "These two should be banned from every fishing tournament for life."

The pair also had their fishing licenses suspended for a maximum of three years. (AFP)