Franklin Co. authorities indict additional Buffalo Trace Distill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Franklin Co. authorities indict additional Buffalo Trace Distillery employee in connection with bourbon theft ring

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Authorities say a former distillery employee was paid to handle security at Buffalo Trace, then paid to look the other way as someone took the product.

It's part of a bourbon theft ring that just keeps getting bigger.

Authorities say a former Buffalo Trace security guard was paid money to look the other way while a fellow employee stole 11 stainless steel bourbon barrels.

Officials say it happened during the winter -- but it wasn't until this morning that Leslie Wright was indicted by a grand jury, charged with complicity to receipt of stolen property.

Franklin County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Zach Becker tells WDRB Wright fessed up.

"She gives a full statement admitting to her involvement and laying out the details of what occurred," Becker said.

Becker says Wright was paid $800 on two separate occasions while fellow Buffalo Trace employee Gilbert Curtsinger drove onto the grounds, stealing 11 stainless steel barrels -- all full at the time.

Curtsinger is also accused of being the ringleader in the bourbon theft ring.

"I would assume that he would not have been able to commit this specific theft without her cooperation," Becker said.

But according to Becker, Wright said she didn't know exactly what Curtsinger was up to.

"The story that she was given was that it was going to be used for scrap, but of course even if it's scrap, these stainless steel barrels as we've been told by Buffalo Trace are very valuable," he said.

Becker says nine of the 11 barrels are still missing. One that has already been found is worth $12,000.

In April, nine people were indicted for the thefts, including the heist of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon that made headlines. Becker says tips led to Wright's arrest.

"Just another piece of the puzzle," Becker said. "We'll see how big that puzzle is."

Becker expects more indictments to be presented to the grand jury in the coming weeks.

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