Judge cancels trial for missing suspect

A federal judge has canceled the September trial for a Clarksburg man charged with selling illegal bath salts at stores in Buckhannon and Clarksburg because U.S. marshals have yet to find him.

Fifty-seven-year-old former Texas resident John Skruck failed to show up for his trial in May after an approved out-of-town trip. An arrest warrant was issued, but U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley said this week that authorities are still hunting him.

He was general manager of the Hot Stuff Cool Things stores in Buckhannon and Clarksburg before authorities raided and closed them last April.

Authorities called the stores a major distributor of hallucinogenic bath salts in north-central West Virginia.

Skruck is facing 27 federal charges. He is white, 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, with long, gray-brown hair and a beard. Anyone with information about Skruck should call the U.S. Marshals Service at (304) 623-0486.

The owner of the Hot Stuff and Cool Things shops in Buckhannon and Clarksburg was sentenced in federal court in July.

U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley sentenced Jeffrey J. Paglia, 49, of Lost Creek, to 7 years and three months in prison, and ordered him to serve three years on supervised release after completing his sentence. Paglia is on house arrest in Lost Creek until Aug. 23, when he’s scheduled to report to prison.