Man Jailed for Role in $4.3 Million Theft of Jack Daniel's
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Forklift Driver Handed Prison Sentence for Role in $4.3 Million Theft of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey

Jack Daniel's

This July 9, 2018, file photo shows bottles of Jack Daniel’s whiskey displayed at Rossi’s Deli in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

A forklift driver has been sentenced to three years in prison after playing a part in the theft of 123,000 bottles of imported Jack Daniel’s whiskey worth £3.5 million ($4.35 million) from a warehouse in Norfolk, England, according to The Drinks Business.

The forklift driver, James Barr, was also accused of hiding the transfer of £206,315 ($256,540) into his bank account. The theft took place between July and November 2019.

Barr admitted to theft by an employee in February in Norwich Crown Court.

Surveillance video busted Barr by showing lorries entering and leaving the warehouse while avoiding a weighbridge that required drivers to show documentation.

Barr quit his position the day after being caught by the cameras but wasn’t arrested until a year later.

Barr’s defense attorney, Oliver Haswell, unsuccessfully argued that Barr was merely a forklift driver.

“There was a tier of other people above him,” Haswell said, per the Drinks Business. “He objectively did nothing more than move pallets of whiskey onto lorries.”

Judge Janet Waddicor countered that Barr “played a significant and crucial role” in the crime.

“This was a long-standing investigation that showed Barr abused his position at the company and the trust of his employers to fund a lifestyle of buying expensive electrical items, clothing, cars and holidays that was way beyond his means,” Detective Sergeant Mark Tate said, per The Drinks Business.

“He stole more than 123,000 bottles of whiskey and the total value of his theft was £3.5m – a significant sum that has quite rightly led to him losing his job and now, his liberty.”

The other perpetrators involved in the crime have yet to be identified.

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David Morrow is the Editor In Chief of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.