Bourbon is the nectar of the gods. Therefore, when good, aged bourbon ends up in the hands of bad people with evil intentions, the angels cry delicious, 100-proof tears of Kentucky goodness.
There is good news in the Bluegrass State today, however. Nine people have been indicted by a grand jury for a massive bourbon theft ring. The suspects include a Wild Turkey employee, two employees of Buffalo Trace, and are linked to a 2013 heist of coveted Pappy Van Winkle bottles, according to WBDR and The Courier Journal. Via:
The value of the stolen whiskey was at least $100,000 and included bottles and barrels, Becker said. The prosecutor added that the syndicate’s activity has been going on since 2008 with some of the defendants involved at different periods. However, Becker said Curtsinger was the main member and that all knew each other socially or through softball.
Yes, you read that right. “Through softball.” The suspects were also allegedly trafficking anabolic steroids, via according to the Courier Journal.
“There was stuff walking out (of the distilleries) frequently,” Melton said.
The thefts included Wild Turkey, Pappy Van Winkle, Eagle Rare and other unidentified products, Becker said. At least 18 whiskey barrels were involved, said Becker, including various varieties of Wild Turkey and at least five barrels of Russell’s Reserve. Besides the barrels at the Curtsingers’ home, others have been recovered from Laurel, Scott and Harrison counties.
There were 25 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon varieties in evidence and information on more than 20 Van Winkle variety cases, 50 to 70 cases of Eagle Rare bourbon also made at Buffalo Trace, nine more stainless steel barrels of bourbon and other wooden barrels, Becker said.
The one dude was just straight up stashing bourbon barrels in his house:
Besides the racketeering charge, Gilbert Curtsinger, 45, is charged with two counts of receiving stolen property, four counts of trafficking in a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia while in possession of a firearm. His indictment had been anticipated since his arrest a month ago when barrels of Wild Turkey were found at his home.
…Before selling them to buddies and using a illegal bourbon-selling middle-man:
Farmer said many buyers came forward and said they believed Curtsinger “because he never indicated anything at all like it was stolen.” Some said he didn’t hide his identity, they’d known him for years and he always showing up to softball tournaments with liquor and giving out gifts.
“Everyone just kind of felt comfortable with him,” Farmer said.
Sometimes Curtsinger sold barrels — or bottles of Pappy — through a middle man, Farmer said.
“Oftentimes Toby (Curtsinger) knew either the person that ended with the barrel or bottle or the middle man or woman,” Farmer said.
That’s A LOT of bourbon. Yummy, delicious bourbon that belongs on my lips and in my stomach, not in the hands of thieves who want to sell it on the black market.
We can all sleep a little more soundly waiting in our Pappy Van Winkle liquor store lines tonight:
Here’s the news report:
http://WDRB.images.worldnow.com/interface/js/WNVideo.js?rnd=242660;hostDomain=www.wdrb.com;playerWidth=630;playerHeight=355;isShowIcon=true;clipId=11411984;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=News;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlayWDRB 41 Louisville News