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Infamous Ohio Walleye Tournament Cheater Now Accused of Poaching in Pennsylvania

Admitted fishing tournament cheater Chase Cominsky is back in hot water, this time for allegedly poaching in Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania resident Chase Cominsky is facing multiple charges related to hunting violations in Mercer County, Penn., Cleveland.com reported Thursday.

If you follow hunting and fishing news, Cominsky’s name and face might be familiar.

He’s the one who, along with partner Jacob Runyon, cheated at the 2022 Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The case made national news after videos emerged of tournament director Jason Fischer slicing open the duo’s winning fish, only to find the men had stuffed nine lead sinkers wrapped in walleye fillets down the fish’s gullets.

Cominksy and Runyon later admitted to the scam as part of a plea deal. A Cuyahoga County judge promptly sentenced them to 10 days in jail, a $2,500 fine, and a year of probation, among other penalties. The judge also slapped them with a 30-day additional jail sentence should they violate probation.

Now, Cominsky is in hot water again. He faces two counts of unlawful killing or taking of big game, three counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife, two counts of unlawful acts concerning licenses, and one count of violation in tagging and reporting big-game kills, Cleveland.com noted. Cominsky’s arrangement is scheduled for Nov. 14 in Mercer County Court.

Game Wardens Investigate

Game wardens for the Pennsylvania Game Commission Northwest began investigating Cominsky after receiving a tip from someone in Cominksy’s orbit. Per the tip, Cominksy allegedly took antlered whitetail deer out of season, after hours, and without a valid hunting license between 2013 and 2021, Pennsylvania newspaper The Herald wrote earlier this week.

According to the paper, wardens investigating Cominky’s home found five mounted whitetail deer heads, all of which had been mounted during that period.

Pennsylvania NBC affiliate WKBN reported on Wednesday that Cominksy’s hunting license had been suspended since 2008 due to previous violations.

And, WKBN noted, Cominksy is also embroiled in a forgery case in Mercer County. In February 2023, Cominksy was charged with forgery after allegedly attempting to pass two fake $100 bills at a bowling alley. According to the outlet, the bills had “for Motion Picture Purposes” and “Not Legal Tender” written on them.

That case is still working its way through the court system in Mercer County.

“It’s something I wish I could say didn’t happen, but I can’t, your honor,” Cominksy told the Cuyahoga County judge earlier this year after admitting to the tournament cheating scheme.

“I’m better than that.”

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