MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A Clarksburg man who prosecutors said ran two West Virginia shops that sold large quantities of illegal bath salts will stand trial May 14, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
John Skruck, 56, had sought to delay his trial on more than two-dozen drug-related charges. Defense attorney Thorn<co > Thorn<co > said he's received more than 10,000 pages of discovery -- 1,000 since mid-March -- and needed three more months to prepare.
Thorn also complained he only got a list of the government's intended witnesses about 10 days ago.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rob McWilliams countered that the defense has had access to many documents for months, including interviews with a potential witness that have been available for about a year.
U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley agreed after a hearing in Clarksburg.
McWilliams also said two witnesses are federal Drug Enforcement Administration chemists whose names have been on their lab reports for months. The defense has long known it would need its own expert witnesses to counter their testimony, he said, so there is no justification for a delay.
A pretrial memo, meanwhile, suggested it was Skruck -- not owner Jeffrey Paglia -- who ran the Hot Stuff Cool Things stores in Buckhannon and Clarksburg before federal authorities raided and closed them last April.
Authorities called the stores a major distributor of hallucinogenic bath salts in north-central West Virginia and noted that Paglia planned to open a third store in Fairmont.