Breakthrough, Arrests, In Epic Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Heist
Authorities investigating an epic bourbon heist in Kentucky may have finally found the culprits behind the boozy caper.
A Franklin County grand jury indicted nine people Tuesday for allegedly stealing more than $100,000 worth of bottles and barrels of rare whiskey, which authorities say could include the notorious “Pappygate” theft of 2013, The Courier Journal reports.
Authorities say the alleged bandits — some of whom worked for the distillery — stole bourbon from Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey distilleries and resold it as far back as 2008. Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton told The Courier Journal that the ring indicted for the whiskey thefts could also be the perpetrators behind the 2013 “Pappygate” incident.
In 2013, 65 cases of the rare and delicious Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve bourbon disappeared– a very high-profile theft, as only about 7,000 12-bottle cases of Pappy are made each year in all varieties, and the total whiskey stolen was valued at more than $25,000.
Authorities found five barrels of Wild Turkey bourbon at the home of Gilbert Curtsinger, who worked at the distilleries involved and is the alleged ring leader, but Gawker reports that the Pappy will be destroyed “for sanitation reasons.”
— Sean Moody (@SeanMoodyWKYT) April 21, 2015
Authorities said there may be more individuals involved in the crime ring and that they are still investigating.
“You had some rogue employees who took advantage of both the trust of their companies and their knowledge of the security measures to steal the barrels and bottles of bourbon from these two distilleries,” said Zachary M. Becker, an assistant Franklin County prosecutor.
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