Heist (2021) s01e06 Episode Script

The Bourbon King: Part 2

When I was growing up, I loved
and respected my mother so much,
I didn't wanna do anything
that would make her think bad of me.
My mom always told me, "Be modest."
Don't go around bragging
on yourself and all that.
Humility, you have to have that.
If you let all that other stuff
go to your head
look how that's got some people.
It's been nearly a month
and a half since Buffalo Trace distillery
reported the theft of bottles
of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle.
The sheriff's office is adding incentive,
a $10,000 reward for any information
that brings an arrest in the case.
We used that to put pressure
on the folks that were doing it.
That's a lot of bourbon.
If they try to move it, we'll find out.
One of the deputies
in the sheriff's office,
he was like,
"The media loves stuff like this."
I said, "They do?"
"So what? That ain't no big deal."
I'm a big man ♪
Have the heart of a baby ♪
The sheriff was confident
he'd solve this case,
and this here is a big reason.
A $10,000 reward is now being offered
When you make it as hot as we made it,
you get a lot of information.
It got to the point,
it was getting crazy, man.
Everybody's like, "I need this."
"Hey, he can get us this."
When you look at these movies
and they say, "I know a guy,"
I was that guy.
Just like with the steroids.
If you come in the gym
and say, "I need something,
can you help me out?"
Yep, I know somebody can help you out.
You can get anything in Mexico.
You just raise your arm up, go like that
if you couldn't speak Spanish.
They'd send it through the mail,
it'd have "dog vitamins" wrote on it.
I'm a big man ♪
But state police, city police,
everybody knew it was going on.
Steve Oliver works with the state police.
Ninety percent of law enforcement
and firemen take steroids.
But who cares, man?
You take steroids for looking good.
We had a lot of tips.
A lot of it had some credibility.
You never know
which one is gonna be the one.
I'm gonna take you to the woodshed ♪
And drop a couple of planks on you ♪
What good is carry and conceal
if I've got an unloaded gun?
My gun was always loaded.
I got Bella a pink .22 Crickett.
She liked shooting it.
Four months
and still no answers,
but authorities remain optimistic
that they will solve the case.
We had one that said,
"This was loaded on a truck,
truck took it to New Orleans."
We couldn't prove that.
The thing is, man, I was rubbing elbows
with Frankfort's elite.
Judges, lawyers, country club rich people.
I'm protected. Nothing gonna happen
to you if you're rubbing with them.
It's been one year
since a large amount
of one of the world's
finest bourbons disappeared.
Investigators are
still no closer to answers.
There was a ton of stuff that came in.
None of it panned out.
If you break your word
You'll wish you never had ♪
I'm a big man ♪
The case went cold.
But I still felt like
we were gonna solve the case.
A lot of people knew
and didn't say nothing about it,
then you're a well-loved person,
and people respect you.
Or they're scared of you.
If I was Toby,
I could definitely see
myself getting all puffed up
and saying, "Man, look at me."
"I can afford this big truck,
I can afford this and that,
I can do this and I can do that,
I've got power behind me."
It's pretty amazing
how it comes full circle.
You grow up, you're watching people
"Man, look at this dude."
Then it comes around,
and you're that dude
these other guys are looking at.
But when you're out there, you gotta watch
because there's always another set
of eyes watching you.
You can only puff your chest out so long
before somebody punches you in the face.
This is just a simple fact.
I remember being at my desk
and the phone beeped.
It said, "Want to know
where some stolen whiskey is?"
We wound up getting a break in 2015.
We got a tip on our text-a-tip phone,
and it was very specific
with the information that we got.
I immediately send detectives down there,
I said, "Go do your thing."
There's a cell phone tower
way behind their house,
there's a little access road.
We're trying to get
as close as we could to see
these barrels of bourbon
that were supposedly there.
Tried to stand on top of the SUV.
Looked from every angle,
other people's property.
Behind the house there was a shed,
and then there was something
behind the shed.
Couldn't really tell what it was.
We went down into the wooded area
and started coming up the other side.
Ron was walking in front of me,
and he stopped.
About that time, the wind shifted.
He said, "Holy shit, do you smell that?
If you grew up in Kentucky
you know what it smells like.
It's a sweet smell.
When it's in the barrel like that
there's no doubt in your mind.
You could smell bourbon.
It was beautiful outside.
A little windy, a little chilly,
but the sun was out.
For a March day, it was beautiful.
I felt good.
And then I got a text from Mom.
She said, "There's been
weird activity at your property."
'Cause they live next door
and can see my house.
She said, "I'm not sure what's going on,
be careful if you come home."
I didn't think about it.
We have radio towers behind my house,
I thought, "They're working on the tower,
doing something behind my house."
I finished my run, pick up the kids,
and we head to the gym.
I look at Ron,
he had this look on his face
like, "Shit, I can't believe this."
It had, like, a neon light over it.
We looked at the barrel heads
but it had been obliterated
with either paint
or some other masking substance.
They have a stamp and it'll tell you
what kind of bourbon it is,
or who it's made by.
This one had that, but it had been
spray painted and we couldn't tell.
That's a clear indication
that they're stolen.
So, they call and said,
"Hey, we see the barrels."
Said, "Okay, let's get search warrants."
This could be it. This could be it.
I was working out in the gym,
and my phone rang.
It was a constable that grew up
with my wife and her family.
He said, "I'm at your house.
Somebody wants to talk to you."
I said, "Yeah?"
He said, "Toby, this is Pat Melton.
You need to get on home."
There's three or four
sheriff's department cars
right in front of the house.
I still didn't know what was going on.
I don't know, man,
it was just a numb feeling.
Not shock, but it was just like
It was trying to process everything.
He says, "I think
I know what this is over."
And that he's sorry
for what's about to happen.
I walked in the back door
with Isabella,
the house was destroyed, stuff everywhere.
They had taken every drawer
in my bedroom and dumped it out.
It was a nightmare.
Pat They all surrounded me.
It was What do they call it, the Germans?
A blitzkrieg. It was just on.
They were questioning Toby
for the combination to the safe.
I got a lot of guns. He had a bunch.
Assault-type rifles and weapons
and some silencers.
The steroids caught my eye.
It looked like quite a bit of steroids,
more than personal use.
Then it took a different turn.
"What are we dealing with here?"
We wound up with stolen bourbon
and a bunch of steroids.
I'm like, "Golly, you can't make this up."
The date is March the 11th,
with Gilbert "Toby" Curtsinger.
You've got the right to remain silent
Pat was like, "You have the right
to remain silent," this and that.
Then Ron Wyatt was like,
"Before you start,
we know that you got the barrels."
I said, "They're not Buffalo Trace."
He said, "We know.
They're from Wild Turkey."
"You got 'em from Sean Searcy,
and selling 'em for $3,000 apiece."
- Where do you work?
- I work at Buffalo Trace.
Were you working there
when the Pappy Van Winkle was missing?
Yes, I was working in processing,
I wasn't in shipping.
Do you have any knowledge
of what took place?
No, sir. I have no idea.
Pat sits there and he looked at me,
he said, "You got any Van Winkle here?"
I went, "No."
He said, "If you know
anything about that 2013,
and you tell me,
I can make this disappear."
I said, "You can make all this disappear?"
He said, "Disappear, just like that."
And Julie piped up
and told him to shut his mouth.
He was talking.
Then Julie looked at him
and said, "You need to shut the eff up."
"Don't say anything." And he did.
There was a look on Toby's face
that I've never seen before.
It was a face of fear.
I think, at that point,
I realized he was in trouble.
That day was a bad day.
It really hurt,
watching what I'd done to my family.
It was the destruction
of the kids' home. It was destroyed.
And they took him to jail. It was awful.
I was in a holding cell
with a little sheet and a little thin mat.
I hear all these guys talking,
"Hey, what's up?" All this.
"What they got you for?"
"I'm in for this heroin."
And I'm going,
"I cannot believe I'm sitting here."
Initial search warrant for my house
was stolen Wild Turkey barrels.
"Did you check with Wild Turkey,
do they have anything missing?"
It wouldn't matter if there was
1,000 barrels behind my house.
If there's nothing missing,
how are you charging me?
Where's the report of it missing?
The Franklin County
Sheriff's Office
says it's one of the biggest cases
they've ever worked,
involving guns, steroids,
and stolen barrels of bourbon.
I've never seen anybody
with five barrels of bourbon.
I was the former political reporter
at the State Journal,
and fortuitously this thing
fell into my lap.
When this guy's busted,
he has five barrels behind his house
that Wild Turkey didn't know was gone.
How could that be?
Curtsinger pleaded not guilty
at his arraignment.
He will be released from
Franklin County Jail after posting bond.
Then the big question was, is this
related to the Buffalo Trace incident?
Is this related to Pappygate?
Sheriff Melton is not ruling out
whether or not this case
could be connected to the 2013 theft
of Pappy Van Winkle.
Soon as we found out
he was an employee,
and a long-term employee,
it was clear that it was an inside job.
They wanted me to name everybody
that I knew that had ever done anything.
They wanted me to rat on everybody.
You gotta be crazy.
I know these people personally.
Parties, birthday parties,
I know their kids.
Why do I want to do that?
But when they took my phone
that's gonna kill me.
My phone.
Once we got the download back,
we were all kind of surprised.
It was a deluge of information.
Selling bourbon, selling steroids.
A lot of information.
"I'll take two."
"I sold those two."
"I need four more."
"How much can we make off this?"
So, we knew Toby had people helping him.
We started lining the names up.
Toby at the top, come down
and it had what we call distributors.
We had the steroids on the other side.
There was some familiar names on there.
Sheriff Melton contacted me
and said he needed to come see me,
which wasn't uncommon.
He came in and served me with a subpoena
for Officer Wells's personnel file.
And when I asked him what was going on,
that seemed like a legitimate question
from a police chief
Something to the effect of
he wasn't at liberty to divulge why.
When you have to investigate
an officer with another agency,
it's not a good position to be in.
But at the end of the day,
my motto was always do the right thing.
- It's a weird predicament to be in.
- It is.
I apologize for my involvement.
They were arranging with Toby
to put money in on steroid shipments.
Uh, Toby mostly would put in. Sean has.
- Anybody else at the police put in?
- Steve Oliver.
Between Toby's friendship
with Mike Wells, Steve Oliver,
Toby probably felt like he doesn't
have to worry about people looking at him
and what he's doing.
But that didn't protect him
from the sheriff's department.
After deliberation, Officer Wells elected
to resign with the Frankfort Police Dept.
The local news coverage was relentless
that we were hiding something.
That ruffled some political feathers.
After pissing off
the city police force,
Pat needed to leave no doubt
in the citizens of Frankfort's minds
that justice was brought.
I think he was looking at reelection
and thinking, "Shit, I need a win here."
We knew if we could get
all the information on Toby,
we could put a stop to it all
and wrap it up.
You want to cut the head off the snake.
Through the course
of the investigation,
it became clear that
a lot of the distribution
was done by people
that played softball together.
So they were very reluctant to cooperate.
I got plenty
of phone calls saying,
"Come down here
to the sheriff's office, let's talk."
I just didn't answer.
One of those things,
"Hear no evil, see no evil."
We knew who he was, what he was doing,
we just had to find him.
Were they following you around?
To numerous places.
How hard is it to know
somebody's following you?
You see that same car at your office,
you're like, "Okay. Let's play
with these guys a little bit."
I get on the interstate,
they go to the interstate.
They followed me all the way
to eastern Kentucky.
Well, I gotta get the world
Off of my back ♪
Somehow ♪
I went, "Let's see
how long they follow us."
They followed me
all the way to Pippa one time.
To a place I promise you
they didn't want to be.
So I gotta get the world
Off of my back ♪
Thinking back, I should have been a cop.
I would have been a good cop.
I'm sure Dusty was trying
to stay one step ahead,
but little did he know
he was five steps behind.
Because the cell phones
and downloads brought it all together.
In Kentucky, we have a statute
called "Engaging in Organized Crime."
So, from top to bottom,
if all they did was distribute one barrel,
they're still responsible
for anything that happens as a result
of that criminal enterprise.
The saying we use is, "Do you want
to be a teammate or an inmate?"
When they find out
what they've done is a Class B felony,
most people pick teammate.
- What's your name?
- Mitchell R. Osborne.
- Ray Osborne?
- Yes.
Toby and a few others
are gonna be indicted
for what's called
"operating in a criminal syndicate."
The kingpin at the top
and the lowest man on the pole
get the same charge. That's ten years.
Now, let's ask one more time.
If you lie to me again,
I'm walking out,
what happens to you, happens to you.
'Cause it's hotter than frig
in this office right now.
And I'm starving, and I'm fat.
I like to eat.
Did you know anything about Eagle Rare?
- Yes, sir, I did.
- All right!
There you go.
That's what I need to know.
We're not here to hammer you,
I promise you.
I helped him get Eagle Rare out of there.
I loaded it up for him, and he took off.
We asked people to come forward
and help us with the investigation,
and if you did that,
then we basically offered 'em immunity.
I heard that he was
going to try to rat everybody out,
and try to make himself look good.
But that's bullshit.
Toby Curtsinger had a whole slew
of people that he dealt with.
You see that there's this bond of people,
whether it's through softball,
steroids, bourbon,
and there seems to be this level
of trust and loyalty with each other,
until people start getting busted.
It ain't about diming
anybody out or nothing like that.
You have immunity.
I don't wanna be
diming my buddy out, period.
Me and Toby were good friends.
He put you in this situation.
I know that.
Tell me more
about the barrel exchange.
How did that come about?
Did Toby call? Tell me how that happened.
Once everybody started to fall,
people started coming out of the woodwork.
"I've talked to my attorney,
I'd like to come
and turn in these nine bottles
that I have."
Did you buy them
by the bottle or the case?
No, but he had some cases.
Was he wearing
a Buffalo Trace uniform?
Yes. I thought it was legit.
From 20-year Pappy Van Winkle
to 12-year to 15-year
Dusty Adkins
brought it to my house.
He said he knew a guy
that worked in the distillery.
One day, I finally answered.
I said, "Come here.
I'm in Scott County, come and get me."
They couldn't do it.
They didn't have jurisdiction.
In the parking lot, you look over
and see the Franklin County line.
Just 'cause I talk funny
doesn't mean I'm ignorant.
We could've arrested him right there.
This isn't Dukes of Hazzard,
this isn't, "We'll chase 'em to the bridge
and if we don't catch 'em before then,
we won't be able
to charge 'em with anything."
That's not how it works in the real world.
When it become real is when I saw
a list of all the text messages
on Toby's cell phone.
All these things sitting in front of you,
how do you deny it? You can't deny it.
'Cause it's right here from me to him.
Dusty Adkins, just like the others,
they admitted to
facilitating the sale of the barrels.
They turned every one
of my friends against me.
You know, Ronnie Lee, Dusty
All those guys, man.
I played ball with them for years.
I miss those guys.
I love 'em.
We were just told there was
gonna be a press conference
from Pat Melton.
We knew, off the record, that it involved
some of the stolen bourbon
from allegedly Buffalo Trace.
That's all we knew at that point.
I said, "I wanna go. I'll go to that."
I'm thinking there might be
the local television crews.
There were over 20 reporters,
camera crews, from all over the world.
I had said it was an inside job.
And obviously that's what happened.
Call it the case of the missing cases.
A heist dubbed Pappygate.
Officials say they've arrested
the man responsible.
Cops claim this man,
Gilbert "Toby" Curtsinger,
was the ringleader.
It wasn't just statewide.
Some anonymous tips
It wasn't regional.
Black market bourbon.
It wasn't national.
A big crack in the case
It wasn't northern hemisphere.
It was worldwide.
The case has gotten attention
as far away as Pakistan.
Think about that.
This is the tip of the iceberg.
They hammered him constantly.
Four times a day.
A hundred ninety-five bottles
walked out the door? Didn't happen.
- Six o'clock, twelve o'clock
- There's tentacles
- Million dollar question.
- Justice will be served.
Eleven o'clock
We indicted him
for engaging in organized crime.
It's whiskey, for God's sake.
It's pretty gutsy to say,
"We're gonna solve this case."
But we did. We got him.
By God, don't ever doubt my team.
- Congratulations.
- Thank you.
You did it. Pappy has been solved.
- We brought Pappy home.
- Brought Pappy home.
Curtsinger and his alleged accomplices
have been indicted
on several charges including
engaging in organized crime.
Their lawyers did not respond
to calls from CBS this morning
I didn't know what to think. I just was
expecting the worst of the worst.
And basically it was.
I got indicted
for everything he was,
they got me on every charge.
That he masterminded this,
and that I was a part of the plot
to steal bourbon, steroids, and guns.
I remember being at the attorney's office
with him the first time,
and the more he was saying
that he was doing,
from paying a guard
to get through the gates,
it seemed like there was so much involved.
I didn't say a lot, for a while.
I didn't want to fight,
there was too much going on.
It's not that he cheated,
but it was a sense of lying to me, or
It was a letdown. Huge.
I'm happy to pronounce to you
That's not
the kind of man I married.
Mr. and Mrs.
Gilbert Thomas Curtsinger.
We were on the news every day.
I had to sit for a while and think,
"Dang, am I that bad of a person?"
He just sat down on the couch,
he had his face in his hands like that,
and he was crying.
It was awful
'cause I'd never seen Dad like that.
"Ringleader caught"
"Is my dad
a mobster or something?"
He'd come in the room and I'd get so mad.
I just didn't want to be around him.
Then it was, "Do you rip
the kids away from him?"
Kade had a girl that he liked.
Her dad googled us, found out
who it was, told his daughter,
"I don't want you seeing him
'cause of his dad."
How am I supposed to feel on that?
He should not have to pay for what I done.
He got on his knees and said he was sorry,
he'd be better off if he killed himself.
You think, "If I could
take myself out of the equation,
they'd leave my family alone
and everybody'd go back to whatever."
My response to him was, "You did this,
you're not gonna take the easy out
and commit suicide
and leave me with two kids."
"If I'm willing to walk this with you,
you'll walk it, too."
All right. You ready
to be sentenced, Mr. Curtsinger?
Yes, sir.
You have anything to state
before the court pronounces sentence?
No, sir.
Okay. 15CR101, theft by unlawful taking,
two counts of receiving stolen property
Possession of a controlled substance,
second degree, first offense,
I sentence you to five years
on each count, to run consecutively.
You are sentenced to 15 years
in the state penitentiary,
you may be taken
into custody at this time.
It's very sad
that it had to go to that level.
A man makes a mistake, you don't have
Not everything's a hanging offense.
I haven't said that he's a bad guy.
I think he made some poor decisions,
I think he got greedy.
It is a bourbon heist
in Kentucky
that comes tonight with a cost,
jail time for the so-called mastermind.
Today he learned his fate,
15 years behind bars
for his role in the case
known as Pappygate.
They led the public to believe
he had taken that 2013.
That's all you heard, was the 2013.
When they knew all along
that that wasn't true.
Do you remember any other
significant conversations
- in your investigation?
- Greg Anglin.
Tell me your involvement
with Toby Curtsinger.
My involvement with him?
I have no involvement on bourbon barrels,
nothing like that,
of any kind, degree, shape, or form.
Just like with everybody else
that cooperated,
we offered him,
"If you come in and talk to us,
tell us the truth,
we won't prosecute you."
After we talk today, any kind of deal
or anything we talked about,
not being prosecuted,
if you lie, that's out the door.
With Toby Curtsinger? No, sir.
Now, did you steal anything?
Yes, sir. This is way before.
What'd you take?
Oh, probably a case of 20-year, I'd say.
One case?
Maybe two. No more than two.
- Of Pappy?
- Yes, sir.
This is where you need to be
the most honest you've ever been.
- Before you say anything
- This is five years ago.
Right, exactly.
If there was 35 cases or there was six,
I need you to give me a number.
And you gotta stick with it.
- I need
- Maybe eight or ten, honestly. Total.
- You're talking about 12-bottle cases?
- Yes, sir.
- I'm talking about ten cases
- So, 120 bottles.
When he said that it was like a gut punch.
He admits that he probably took
about 17 cases of Pappy Van Winkle
during this time at Buffalo Trace.
It's the danger
of offering immunity.
Every now and then,
you have something like this
where the guy says,
"By the way, I did this."
I have immunity ♪
I'm stronger each day ♪
My weakness is fading ♪
Ever since you went away ♪
Told me you would always love me ♪
Now I know that it was just a lie ♪
I was drinking water
When I could be drinking wine ♪
He said that he had been in
and had stolen the original case,
that he had stole several bottles
of the Pappy then, it was him.
It wasn't Toby Curtsinger
that was stealing Pappy Van Winkle
at the very timeframe
of this 2013 Pappygate heist.
We would love to say, "Here it is,
Toby was the ringleader,
let's put him in a box."
It's convenient, it's clean,
but it's not true.
There were several upsets
in today's primary,
we're following the results
in central and eastern Kentucky.
I think Pat did everything
in his ability to solve the case
to secure his reelection.
Five hundred times he was
on the news trying to promote his name.
He was the one wanting to get it done.
Any time you come in
and you're the new guy
and you upset the apple cart,
you'll have people that don't like that.
I should have handled
a couple things differently
as far as coming forward pretty strong.
In hindsight, it probably wasn't
a smart thing to do.
But we had a job to do,
we did it, we did it very well.
And solved a case
people thought would never be solved.
Pat's eagerness to promote himself
and the county sheriff's office
probably rubbed a lot
of people the wrong way.
In a small town,
sometimes if you try to be a boy scout,
that just bugs the shit out of people.
And Franklin County Sheriff
Pat Melton lost by 3,300 votes
to Chris Quire,
a captain with Frankfort Police.
He flew too close to the sun,
and in the end it didn't matter
that Pat tried to impress the public
and that Toby tried
to impress his friends.
They both went down.
The ringleader in a bourbon heist
in central Kentucky
will leave prison this weekend.
A Franklin County judge granted
shock probation today.
Now after serving 30 days,
he will soon be free.
Defense attorney argued Curtsinger
was a good candidate for shock probation
as a first time felony offender
with a family, a job,
and ties to the community.
If you're a nonviolent offender,
if you don't have
an extensive criminal case,
and you, basically,
are not a risk to society,
you could be a candidate
for shock probation.
People go, "You got lucky!"
I say, "Really?"
I say, "I always had a plan."
Work, build up a 401k,
retirement, I had everything set,
that just got smashed.
I gotta live with what I put my kids
through, my mom and dad through.
Everybody that I know.
If you show love,
then you need to rejoice.
It says love bears all things.
A husband and wife
go through a lot of difficulty
to bear all things, don't they?
My wedding rings,
I took them off five years ago.
I don't think I said it,
they just came off my hand
and I've never put 'em back on.
There may be a day they go back on.
Not now.
A lie is
hard to deal with, isn't it?
But when the sin is removed,
can we put love in the place of it?
By doing what I was doing,
I was jeopardizing
my marriage, both of my kids.
When you take a couple
that's been together for years and years,
and they still love each other,
that's a miracle.
When all the smoke clears
of friends, and friends of friends,
and ball teams, and coworkers,
what's left standing? Family.
Man, I don't know if Y'all deserve
all that? Look at all those gifts.
I tell him every single time
he tells us sorry,
it's not something
you should say sorry for.
People make mistakes,
but me and Bella still love you.
Well, let's see, show everybody
what you got. Look.
He'll say, "I guarantee
you would sell me out for a new dad."
It's just stuff like that,
it breaks my heart to hear him say that.
'Cause, like, he's my world.
Like, he's my world.
- What in the world?
- We thought you would like 'em.
- Will you wear 'em?
- Sure, I'll wear 'em.
They fit him.
It's supposed to be really good
stuff, if you read the reviews.
I feel like we have
more healing to do.
I feel like that we're going
to be better in years to come.
I think we're gonna be okay.
Everybody's heard about it.
Especially anybody
who lives in Kentucky.
He's done the distillery
a favor, in a way.
Just the folklore around it,
that boosted the price up immensely.
After the heist and everything,
the prices have skyrocketed.
You're looking at $5,000 a bottle.
I don't know how easy it is to find,
but I know if you wanted to, you could.
- A snitch is what got him caught, though.
- Yep. The text message.
Who was it that gave that tip?
I don't think I'm supposed to say that.
Toby stole a lot of Pappy,
but maybe unfairly, he's lumped
into what Greg Anglin did.
There's a bunch of people
that stole Pappy Van Winkle.
Including Toby Curtsinger.
I have no idea. I don't, I really don't.
Well over a million dollars.
And that's just what we know about.
Who knows? It could be close
to double that, close to triple that.
What we done, man?
I mean, what was it?
It's like stealing a piece of bubble gum
from the supermarket.
Think about it. If you worked
at Buffalo Trace right now,
and you had an opportunity
to stick two 20-year-old Van Winkles
down your pants, walk out
with nobody seeing you,
are you gonna do it
if you don't get caught?
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