Back in November of 2013, the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky reported that $26,000 worth of high-end, hard to acquire Pappy Van Winkle bourbon had been stolen. (BOURBON HEIST.) Authorities said they were zeroing in suspects only a few weeks later, but over a year passed with no arrests, and it appeared the case had gone cold. (BOURBON HEIST: ON THE ROCKS.) Recently, however, they got a break in the case when a number of the stolen barrels were located behind a nearby shed. Which leads us to today’s update.
Franklin County prosecutors indicted nine people earlier today, including a number of “rogue distillery workers,” for a series of thefts dating back to at least 2009 (BOURBON HEIST: WELL-AGED) that targeted multiple distilleries and totaled somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 in stolen whiskey. (BOURBON HEIST: TOP SHELF.)
From the Guardian:
The theft targeted the Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey distilleries, they said, and included some of the most prestigious brands in the business, including pricey Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. It had been going on since 2008 or 2009, officials said. […]
“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.
All nine of the alleged culprits have been charged with “engaging in organized crime as members of a criminal syndicate,” which somehow makes this even better. I mean, let’s recap: A criminal syndicate pulled off a six-figure, half-decade whiskey caper thanks to a number of rogue employees; they were brought down by a sheriff who taunted them with metaphor-mixing statements in the press (“The net is closing. It’s getting tighter. It’s hot. You’re not going to be able to take it and sell it anywhere”); and the whole thing fell apart because someone found the stolen goods “behind a shed.”
This is a perfect news story.