Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WEST VIRGINIA/EAST [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WEST VIRGINIA/EAST [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt


Fugitive is still at large in 'bath salts' case

Federal prosecutors in West Virginia said they will use the flight of fugitive John Skruck against him at his trial, assuming U.S. marshals track him down.

Mr. Skruck, 57, a Texas strip-club owner, is on the run from the law after failing to show for trial this week in Clarksburg, W.Va., where he faces more than two dozen charges of distributing synthetic hallucinogens called "bath salts."

The case is one of the largest such prosecutions in the U.S.

He'd been living in Michigan and was given permission to travel over the weekend to Ohio to see relatives, but he didn't come back for the start of his trial on Tuesday.

The marshals have launched a nationwide manhunt.

The U.S. attorney's office in Wheeling has filed notice that prosecutors will use the fact that he ran to show "consciousness of guilt."

Mr. Skruck already faced 10 years in prison and could now receive more if convicted.

Three others charged with him have pleaded and agreed to cooperate. …

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