Kentucky Alcohol Beverage Control investigators thwarted the sale of more than 120 bottles of premium stolen spirits, from fifths of Maker’s Mark to 12-year-old Yamazaki single-malt, altogether worth more than $2,000 in a sting operation in Frankfort, according to a news release from the Public Protection Cabinet.
Brian Middleton, 33, who worked for a third-party delivery service moving spirits from the Jim Beam warehouse in Frankfort, pleaded guilty in Franklin Circuit Court in November to three felony counts of receiving stolen property.
According to the Frankfort State Journal, Middletown also attempted to sell bottles of commemorative tequila, Knob Creek bourbon, Courvoisier cognac and Hibiki 12-year-old single-malt whisky.
After getting a tip from Georgetown police in September 2015, ABC investigator Willie Skeens set up a meeting with Middleton by phone and bought 16 fifths of Maker’s Mark and one bottle of Yamazaki, according to the ABC news release.
Two other times, undercover investigators bought more bottles out of Middleton’s trunk in Frankfort parking lots before arresting him in November 2015. Middleton was indicted last February by a Franklin County grand jury. According to the news release, the transactions were recorded.
“We take the security of our products and the integrity of our supply chain very seriously and are very happy that this matter was resolved,” Nathan Crosley, senior director for the Americas supply chain for Beam Suntory, said in a statement.
Because the secure supply chain has been disrupted, ABC will ask Franklin Circuit Court for an order to destroy all the bottles once the case is concluded, according to Public Protection Cabinet spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn.