High school principal linked to rare bourbon theft

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Franklin County Sheriff's Office questioned a high school principal in connection to the theft of rare bourbon. $26,000 in Pappy Van Winkle was stolen from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort.

Last week, the sheriff's office released video of a man inside an Elizabethtown liquor store. The sheriff says the man is Bardstown High School principal Chris Pickett. He says Pickett was very cooperative when investigators met with him on Monday in Nelson County. According the the Sheriff, employees reported Pickett came in and offered to sell them a large amount of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle.

"We've still got a lot of work to do and we're still following up. This is one of the leads, one of the things that we had," says Sheriff Pat Melton.

WKYT spoke with Pickett's attorney. He says Pickett had nothing to do with the crime. He tells us Pickett went in the store to look for some Pappy Van Winkle and mentioned he had a large collection at home, but never offered to sell any. Meanwhile, the story of the missing Pappy continues to gain momentum across the internet.

"It just shows how valuable and important this bourbon is to a lot of folks," says Sheriff Melton.

He says that will go a long way toward helping crack the case.

"For the bad guy, it's going to hinder him or her in trying to sell this bourbon because everybody knows it's hot."

The sheriff says Pickett remains a person of interest and they're not ruling anything out in this case.

Pickett's attorney says his client has never been to Buffalo Trace and doesn't know any of the employees.

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