KNOXVILLE (AP) - An undercover operation has netted a restaurant owner accused of buying stolen meat for low prices.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports 57-year-old Samer Tobea was arrested Wednesday after Knox County Sheriff's deputies served a search warrant at The Round Up. An arrest warrant says Tobea made eight illegal buys from KCSO informants and an undercover officer between Aug. 24 and Sept. 8, purchasing $2,960.44 worth of merchandise for $755.

Knox County Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief Lee Tramel says the business had been doing this for a couple years. Tobea bought the South Knoxville mainstay in 2002.

Tramel says purchasing stolen goods perpetuates the drug trade as most sellers are drug addicts.

A health inspector accompanying the raid destroyed 50 pounds of meat.

It's unclear if Tobea has a lawyer.

Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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