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Pappy Van Winkle Heist Solved?

Karyn Czar
Recovered bourbon on display at press conference

Nine people have been indicted on charges of spiriting away what Kentucky authorities say was more bourbon whiskey than one person could drink in a lifetime.

Credit Karyn Czar / WUKY
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton speaks to reporters about bourbon theft syndicate

The indictments were handed up Tuesday. Prosecutors say the scheme led by rogue distillery workers lasted for years and involved tens of thousands of dollars' worth of whiskey.

Authorities say two distilleries were targeted — the Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey distilleries.

They say the criminal syndicate operated since 2008 or 2009. They said the recovered whiskey alone is worth at least $100,000.

As for whether or not the bourbon represents the total amount stolen as part of heist of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle in 2013 that became known as "Pappy Gate," Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton told reporters, "It's an ongoing pattern and this is probably tip of the iceberg."

The indictments tie together two highly publicized heists in the world's bourbon-producing hub — the theft of barrels of Wild Turkey bourbon earlier this year and the disappearance of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

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