We have a follow up to this crazy scandal.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Two men accused of stuffing five walleye with lead weights and fish fillets during a lucrative fishing tournament on Lake Erie pleaded not guilty to cheating and other charges on Wednesday. Jacob Runyan, 42, of Broadview Heights, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky, 35, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, made no comments during their brief court appearances in Cleveland. Their attorneys declined to comment about the case after the hearing.
The cheating allegations surfaced Sept. 30 when Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament director Jason Fischer became suspicious because Runyan and Cominsky’s fish were significantly heavier than walleye of that length typically are. An angry crowd at Gordon Park in Cleveland watched Fischer cut the walleye open and announce there were weights and fish fillets stuffed inside them.
Runyan and Cominsky were indicted earlier this month on felony charges of cheating, attempted grand theft, possessing criminal tools and misdemeanor charges of unlawfully owning wild animals.
Both were released Wednesday on personal bonds of $2,500.
The first place prize in the tournament totaled around $28,000.
I love that these guys were caught red-handed but continue to plead not guilty. That's right from my playbook. Get caught and then deny, deny, deny. I should become a fisherman.
As for their punishment, from what I know about fish law, much like bird law, these guys should have been drowned in the lake by their competitors, but I digress. This is criminal court, not Fishing Court.
I guess these two are so rich from all their winnings they are just going to try to outspend the prosecution until they let them go. These guys should be banned from any body of water for the rest of their lives if/when they are found guilty. Prison would be too good for these guys because all people of the fish profession enjoy is being on the sea. One of these guys is a former felon so obviously prison didn't work on him, so time to take away his boat and feed the keys to a whale.