Entertainment Sports Fishermen Caught Cheating in Ohio Tournament Plead Guilty After Stuffing Fish with Weights Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky would have won the Lake Erie Walleye Trail fishing tournament in September had the event's director Jason Fischer not discovered the men had been adding weights to the fish By Natasha Dye Natasha Dye Twitter Natasha Dye is a writer-reporter for PEOPLE Digital covering sports. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 28, 2023 12:52 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Mark Gillispie/AP/Shutterstock The two men caught cheating in a Cleveland fishing tournament last fall recently pleaded guilty to charges of cheating and unlawful ownership of wild animals. Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky would have won the Lake Erie Walleye Trail fishing tournament in September had the event's director Jason Fischer not discovered the men had been adding weights to the fish, according to CBS. Runyan, 42, and Cominsky, 35, allegedly stuffed lead weights and fillets into five of their fish, which the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has confiscated as evidence. Local news outlet Cleveland19 reported that the men would have been awarded $28,760 if they had not been disqualified. Additionally, the outlet reported that 10 weights were discovered inside the fish after they were cut open. Cominsky agreed to surrender his bass boat and both men accepted a plea deal that would suspend their fishing licenses for three years, according to CBS. Chess World Champ Magnus Carlsen Accuses 19-Year-Old Hans Niemann of Cheating After Controversy Previous charges of attempted grand theft and possessing criminal tools have been dropped by prosecutors, the outlet reported. Runyan and Cominsky will remain out on bond before they return to court for sentencing on May 11. Per CBS, Runyan and Cominsky were investigated a separate time concerning cheating allegations in a Toledo walleye tournament. The outlet reported that there was not sufficient evidence to determine whether or not they cheated in that contest, according to a police report. RELATED VIDEO: Nebraska Fisherman Hooks 90-Million-Year-Old Fossil During Fishing Tournament: 'Catch of a Lifetime' In a statement, Fischer said he was "disgusted" by the cheating scandal at the time. "I'm sorry for letting you down for so long, and I'm glad I caught cheating taking place in YOUR LEWT at the same time," the tournament's director posted. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Fischer grew suspicious when the five fish they caught weighed in at 34 lbs. total, well above Fischer's estimate that they would weigh around 20 lbs., according to The Washington Post. "It just kind of deflated me, because I just knew it wasn't right," he told the outlet. Ohio Fishing Tournament Rocked by Cheating Scandal After Weights Found in Winning Catch A livestream of the weigh-in shared on the tournament's Facebook page shows Runyan and Cominsky presenting their fish to a scale that read the fish weighed 33.91 lbs. One person in attendance can be heard sarcastically saying "yeah, right" as the weight was displayed on the screen. Another video of the incident shows Fischer announcing to the crowd that they had discovered "weights in fish" after slicing one open and removing what he said was a lead ball. Immediately after the announcement, dozens of participants angrily confronted one of Runyan and Cominsk's team members.