U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley sentenced two men Monday for their involvement in head shops selling bath salts and synthetic drugs in Buckhannon and Clarksburg.
Jeremia J. Phillips, 30, and Derrick L. Calip, 40, of Clarksburg were sentenced to 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. They will each receive credit for time served since April 18, 2012, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II.
Multiple law enforcement agencies raided Hot Stuff and Cool Things in April 2012 after an exhaustive investigation. U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld said Hot Stuff and Cool Things may have been the largest supplier of bath salts in the area.
Phillips and Calip had pleaded guilty to distributing bath salts from Sept. 7, 2011 to April 17, 2012 in Harrison County. They were remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending designation to a federal institution. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. and investigated by the Harrison County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Three Rivers Drug Task Force and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations.
Jeffrey J. Paglia, the owner of the head shops, is scheduled to be sentenced in July. Paglia pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge and evading IRS reporting requirements. John Skruck, believed to be an upper level manager of the stores, was scheduled for trial in May until he failed to appear in court. The U.S. Marshals service is seeking information regarding his location. If you have information, call 304-623-0486.