Uncle Sam's restaurant owner wins hearing over warrants

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PHOENIX (AP) -- An appeals court has ordered that a metro Phoenix restaurant owner accused of trafficking in stolen identities be given a hearing to determine the validity of search warrants carried out by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office.

The decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals reverses a lower-court's ruling that denied the hearing to Uncle Sam's restaurants owner Bret Frimmel.

The appeals court says Frimmel showed the warrants were based on information that investigators knew or should have known contained false statements or omissions.

Frimmel is the first employer in metro Phoenix to be charged with identity theft under an Arizona law aimed at employers who hire immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

His trial is set for March 4.

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