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Netflix docu-series will feature ‘Pappygate’, the theft of rare bourbon in Franklin County

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 10:40 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A new Netflix documentary series called Heist will showcase three of the biggest heists in modern American history, one of those happened in Franklin County commonly known as ‘Pappygate’.

“It was probably a once in a lifetime case,” former Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said.

In 2013, 195 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle and 27 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Rye were reported stolen from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Their value was more than $26,000.

That sparked a years-long investigation that uncovered more than just bourbon.

“Once this thing broke, we started getting more and more and we went to a white board and we had a team meeting,” Melton said. “We started drawing it and connecting the lines and all of the sudden you had engaging in organized crime.”

Ultimately, 10 people were accused of stealing more than $100,000 in Kentucky bourbon.

The ringleader, Gilbert “Toby” Curtsinger was sentenced to 15 years in prison but was released after 30 days on shock probation.

Now, Curtsinger and then Sheriff Pat Melton will chronicle ‘Pappygate’ in the new Netflix docu-series Heist.

Episodes five and six of the series will focus on the tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen rare bourbon.

“At the end of the day, this was bourbon,” Melton said. “I never thought, I just never envisioned having to do a press briefing, a daily press briefing on a theft case.”

That theft case captured national attention making headlines in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

“It was just intriguing,” Melton said. “I think all of the facets and all of the pieces and parts, it was like putting together a puzzle.”

It’s the kind of crime puzzle that could make for a binge-worthy Netflix documentary.

“I’m not going to lie, I’m excited about it,” Melton said. “I’m excited to see it because I just hope they showcase the work that the men and women did in our office and what a great job that they did in solving this case.”

The docu-series debuts on Netflix July 14.

The other episodes will chronicle a heist at the Miami Airport and an armored car robbery in Las Vegas.

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