In January 2016, Pat Melton, the sheriff of Franklin County, Kentucky, broached the subject of what should be done with the 28 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon that had been recovered from what the media had dubbed The Pappy Van Winkle heist. He suggested they auction off the bourbon for charity. The Guardian reported, however, that Julian Van Winkle III, grandson of Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr., wanted them destroyed, lest their name be associated with adulterated bourbon.
When the bottles were originally recovered in 2015, NPR learned that the haul, which represents only around 10% of the total amount pilfered, was worth at least $100,000. “Gilbert ‘Toby’ Curtsinger led an organized criminal syndicate based at his residence in Franklin County, Ky., that participated in theft and distribution of stolen bourbon, and also imported and distributed anabolic steroids,” Melton added.
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