Breaking News Emails
Five barrels of stolen Wild Turkey bourbon — worth up to $30,000 — were found in a Kentucky backyard, officials said Thursday. And the suspect may have a connection to another famous bourbon heist.
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said his deputies on Wednesday responded to a phone tip of bourbon in barrels behind a home in a rural part of the county.
Melton said they obtained a search warrant and recovered five barrels full of stolen bourbon from a Wild Turkey distillery in nearby Lawrenceburg — along with "a significant amount" of anabolic steroids and more than 25 guns in the house.
"I've never seen anything like this," Melton said, noting that each of the barrels weighed 400 to 500 pounds.
The bourbon was produced in 2008 and each barrel is worth between $3,700 and $6,000 a piece, the sheriff said.
"You could be looking at $30,000 worth of bourbon," Melton said.
Wild Turkey is currently testing the bourbon and conducting its own investigation, according to a statement from the company.
The alleged bourbon-thief, Gilbert Thomas Curtsinger, 45, was arrested Wednesday night on charges of receiving stolen property over $10,000, four counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Curtsinger pleaded not guilty in Franklin County District Court on Thursday and was released on bond.
Whether the heist is related to the infamous 2013 theft of more than $25,000 worth of rare Pappy Van Winkle bourbon is yet to be seen, Melton said.
Curstinger happens to be an employee of Buffalo Trace, the same distillery where the 200 hundred bottles of Pappy bourbon went missing, the sheriff said.
"We're looking forward to where this case goes," he said, adding that the case had developed "very rapidly."
"We are following up on every lead that we get on Pappy, it's still an open case," he said "I'm still optimistic that we may solve it."