PHOENIX - Maricopa County Sheriff's officials say the owner of a popular Valley restaurant was taken into custody Wednesday on identity theft charges.
MCSO spokesman Brandon Jones said 40-year-old Bret Frimmel, the owner of Uncle Sam's restaurant, is being charged with trafficking the identity of another, identity theft, and forgery.
Jones said Frimmel was arrested around noon at the restaurant's Peoria location.
Deputies said Frimmel's manager, Lisa Norton, 53, was also arrested Wednesday. Jones said Norton is facing the same identity theft and forgery charges as Frimmel.
Jones said the investigation into Uncle Sam's restaurant began in October 2012 after the sheriff's office received a tip several workers were being hired using false documents to gain and maintain employment.
Deputies said the July operation resulted in nine arrests related to ID theft and forgery. A 10th suspect was charged with auto theft after an outstanding warrant was discovered.
Jones said MCSO deputies have spoken with several witnesses that claim to have first-hand knowledge that Norton and Frimmel worked together to acquire false documents in order to provide IDs to undocumented workers who wanted to work at their restaurants.