Accused 'bath salts' ringleader detained, faces West Virginia trial

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An accused drug dealer on the run from the law for eight months was detained today by a federal magistrate in New Mexico and ordered to be returned to West Virginia for trial.

U.S. marshals caught John Skruck, owner of two Texas strip clubs, on Saturday in San Cristobal, N.M., after he failed to show up for his trial last year in Clarksburg, W.Va.

Federal prosecutors said he dealt synthetic hallucinogens called "bath salts" from two head shops in West Virginia and laundered the proceeds.

The U.S. attorney's office said his operation was responsible for a rash of medical emergencies by residents who took bath salts in northern West Virginia in 2011.

The case is believed to be the largest of its kind in the U.S.

Others prosecutors said were Mr. Skruck's underlings have pleaded guilty, but he disappeared just before trial in May after a judge allowed him to travel to Ohio to visit family.

Mr. Skruck is expected to be returned to West Virginia in early February.


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