In a continued saga of wildlife-related offenses, Chase Cominsky, one of the individuals involved in a notorious fish tampering incident during a walleye fishing tournament on Lake Erie, Ohio, last year, now faces new charges in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission recently charged Cominsky, aged 36 and hailing from Hermitage, with eight wildlife crimes in Mercer County, all linked to whitetail deer. Allegations against Cominsky include hunting antlered whitetail deer outside of legal shooting hours, during closed seasons, and without a valid license between 2013 and 2021. It was revealed that during this period, his hunting privileges in Pennsylvania had been revoked. The charges encompass unlawful killing or possession of game, as well as unlawful acts concerning licenses, tagging, and reporting of significant game kills.
Furthermore, an investigation uncovered five antlered whitetail deer heads in Cominsky’s living room, all mounted between 2013 and 2021, with three bearing allegedly fraudulent tags.
Cominsky and Jacob Runyan from Ashtabula, Ohio, faced legal consequences earlier in Ohio, being sentenced in May to 10-day jail terms. These penalties were a result of their guilty pleas in Cuyahoga County to charges of cheating and unlawful ownership of wild animals. In addition to their jail time, Cominsky also relinquished his $100,000 bass boat, and both men were fined, with three-year suspensions of their fishing licenses.
The fish tampering scandal initially came to light in September 2022 when Jason Fischer, the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament director, grew suspicious of the unusually high weight of the fish the duo submitted. An investigation led to the discovery of lead weights and walleye fillets concealed within the fish.
A preliminary hearing for the new Pennsylvania charges is scheduled for November 14. Cominsky’s attorney in the walleye tournament case has stated that he will not be representing him in this Pennsylvania case, and further comments were sought from another attorney representing Cominsky in an unrelated Pennsylvania case.