CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A Harrison County man who skipped out on his federal trial last year for allegedly managing stores that served as major distributors for illegal bath salts could soon be back in West Virginia to face those charges.
U.S. Marshals arrested John Skruck, 58, of Clarksburg in an area near the Carson National Forest in New Mexico this past weekend. On Tuesday, he was in custody there awaiting a U.S. Magistrate Court hearing and possible extradition.
“We didn’t forget about him and, certainly, the U.S. Marshal Service did not forget about him,” said Bill Ihlenfeld, U.S. Attorney for West Virginia’s Northern District. “They’ve been on the hunt for Mr. Skruck since last May and they just began closing in on him over the past couple of weeks.”
Ihlenfeld said Skruck ran two “Hot Stuff Cool Things” stores in Clarksburg and Buckhannon for Jeffrey Paglia, the owner. He said the most popular items at the stores were bath salts, synthetic drugs, that brought in as much as $20,000 each day.
The stores were shut down following a raid from federal officials in April 2012.
Since then, Paglia and others have plead guilty to their own charges and been sentenced, but it was Skruck who ran from authorities.
He was initially facing a list of more than 20 charges that included drug conspiracy, money laundering and distributing synthetic drugs. Ihlenfeld said Skruck would face additional charges for running prior to the start of his trial in May of last year.