Paglia will be sentenced in July on one count of drug conspiracy and one count of structuring monetary transactions to evade reporting requirements. Two of his other employees are to be sentenced June 10. But Skruck, who functioned as general manager, is facing the most charges under a 27-count superseding indictment filed in February.
McWilliams's memo to the court said Skruck not only set up a system for Paglia to skim from the stores' profits but then skimmed a second time for his own gain.
Prosecutors said Skruck and Paglia met in a Buckhannon bar that Skruck ran, but by August 2011, Skruck had returned to his home state of Texas to run several strip clubs. Paglia convinced Skruck to return and help him.
That same summer, authorities began doing surveillance and "trash pulls'' at the stores, recovering cash register tapes and receipts that detailed what was being sold, including the type, weight and price of products.
They revealed the stores made about 5 percent of their money on "hippie'' clothing sales and 95 percent from illegal drugs -- sometimes more than $20,000 a day, McWilliams wrote. As time went on, however, Paglia distanced himself and focused on investing in real estate and equipment.
In November 2011, Skruck moved into a church that Paglia had purchased and had drugs delivered there for both his local and Texas operations -- without Paglia's knowledge, McWilliams said.