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    When news first broke of Pappygate back in October of 2013, it instantly became a national sensation. Media from all over the country covered the story, even months after it first broke.  Tom Fischer of covered the story more thoroughly than anyone I know, phoning Sherriff Pat Melton on a monthly basis to check in.

    It was assumed for a long time that the Pappy was the only thing stolen and that it was already long gone. Many, including myself, believed it would go on as an unsolved case forever. It’s the middle of the bourbon boom, and there are plenty of people willing to purchase rare bottles on the black market.

    As it turns out, this story was much larger than a few dozen cases of Pappy Van Winkle. About six weeks ago an employee of Buffalo Trace was found with a barrel of Wild Turkey bourbon under a tarp behind his shed. It began to look as though there would be a promising lead in the Pappygate case.

    No one was prepared for the news that this was part of a seven year, nine member crime syndicate that started with a softball league. At this time, 18 barrels of bourbon from Wild Turkey and Buffalo Trace have been recovered, as well as 25 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle, guns, cash, and steroids. Three of the nine members were distillery employees of either Buffalo Trace or Wild Turkey, respectively.

    The kicker here is that the investigation is still ongoing. There may still be syndicate members and/or bourbon yet to be discovered. But as for Pappygate, we can consider the case solved, against all odds and thanks to the hard work of the Franklin County Sherriff’s Office and the partnership with the media and the community.

    Click here to read about some of the early investigations.

    Click here to read about the break in the case 6 weeks ago.

    Click here to read's coverage of yesterday's announcement.

    Click here to read Fred Minnick's coverage of yesterday's announcement on Whiskey Advocate.

    Click here to read Janet Patton's coverage of yesterday's announcement for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

    Photos Courtesy of the Lexington Herald-Leader and The Franklin County Sheriff's Office. Cover photo courtesy of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery.

    Maggie Kimberl's picture

    About Maggie Kimberl

    I'm a Louisville native with a passion for traveling and homegrown tomatoes. I write the bourbon news, which keeps me plenty busy since Louisville is the center of the bourbon universe. See bourbon news happening? Contact me on Twitter @LouGirl502!

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