Booze News: Bourbon Bandits Busted

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Via Gawker… A Kentucky grand jury indicted nine people for that most-hated of crimes: whiskey thievery. And not just a handful of bottles, no sir. This is full-on racketeering. From The Courier-Journal:

The value of the stolen whiskey was at least $100,000 and included bottles and barrels, [Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Zachary 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…

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.

These folks—a handful of distillery workers, family members, and well-wishers—may well be responsible for the famed “Pappygate,” the 2013 theft of over $25,000 worth of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. But the authorities saved the precious cargo that remains, right? Well, sorta… Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton says that the brownest of the brown liquors will, alas, “be destroyed after the case is complete, under state law, because its whereabouts and contents and handling could not be vouched for to consumers.” Damn.

Image, of lovable moonshiner Snuffy Smith, via Wikipedia.