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In October 2013, 65 cases of one of the most expensive and rarest bourbons in the world –- Pappy Van Winkle –- went missing from a distillery in Kentucky. Even though the sheriff of Franklin County, Kentucky, thought it appeared to be an inside job, it has taken quite some time to determine who was involved. On April 21, a grand jury in Franklin County indicted nine people in the missing bourbon crimes, including the alleged ringleader who is charged with engaging in organized crime.

Missing Pappy Van Winkle Worth an Estimated $26,000

The thefts of the bourbon occurred at two distilleries: the Wild Turkey distillery and Buffalo Trace. Buffalo Trace is where the Pappy Van Winkle is made and where two of those who were indicted worked. Another person indicted worked at Wild Turkey. The two who worked at Buffalo Trace are a married couple and each is now facing eight charges for their alleged roles in the organized criminal syndicate or organized crime ring.

The loading dock worker, who had been at Buffalo Trace for over two decades, was arrested in March. Investigators found five 500-pound barrels of bourbon on his property behind a shed. Each of the barrels was reportedly worth as much as $6,000. While no Pappy Van Winkle bourbon was found at the man’s home, another search warrant was served that located illegal steroids. The Franklin County sheriff, though, said that the man was involved in the thefts of bottles and barrels of Pappy Van Winkle and Eagle Rare. The highly sought after bourbon was reportedly distributed through members of his softball league.

20 Cases of Pappy Van Winkle Recovered

There were 20 cases of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon recovered, although it’s not immediately clear whether those 20 cases are part of the 65 cases that originally went missing. The people who were indicted are facing serious charges with significant penalties. An attorney will work diligently to protect his or her clients' rights as the case moves through the court system. There may be a chance for a plea bargain when so many defendants are listed in a single case –- especially if one defendant testifies against the others.

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