A fourth defendant pleaded guilty Thursday in the bourbon-theft case that has drawn national headlines.
Dustin "Dusty" Adkins, 42, of Georgetown, pleaded guilty in Franklin Circuit Court to an amended charge of criminal conspiracy to receive stolen property over $10,000. That is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Adkins was initially indicted on one count of engaging in an organized criminal syndicate, a felony punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.
Adkins was among nine people indicted in April on charges of stealing more than $100,000 in bourbon from the Wild Turkey distillery in Anderson County and Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. The stolen bourbon included bottles of Pappy Van Winkle and Eagle Rare from Buffalo Trace.
In his plea agreement, Adkins acknowledged that he acted as a middleman for Gilbert "Toby" Curtsinger of Frankfort in the sale of stolen bourbon from Buffalo Trace.
Adkins told prosecutors that he thought the bourbon had been legally obtained, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Zach Becker said. "That's what he'd been told," Becker said.
Curtsinger, 45, has been described by authorities as the central figure in the theft ring, which also was allegedly involved in the trafficking of anabolic steroids.
"Mr. Adkins also provided financial documentation of the transactions between himself and Mr. Curtsinger," Becker said.
As part of the plea agreement, Adkins will cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of co-defendants. That will include his "truthful testimony at trial, if necessary," the plea agreement says.
In May, Ronnie Lee Hubbard of Georgetown and Shaun Ballard of Richmond pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of criminal conspiracy to receive stolen property, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
In June, Leslie Wright of Frankfort, a former security guard at Buffalo Trace, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of criminal facilitation to receive stolen property over $10,000. That is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Prosecutors said Wright was paid $500 on one occasion and $300 on another to look the other way as Gilbert Curtsinger and another man stole 11 stainless-steel barrels from Buffalo Trace.
Wright told investigators that the thefts occurred during "ghost tours" at the distillery, when the public is allowed on the property on certain evenings to hear ghost tales.
Becker said he couldn't comment when asked whether he anticipated other plea agreements.