Blount County man arrested in 2nd fencing operation

Jesse Teaster (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office)

MARYVILLE (WATE) – A Blount County man has been arrested a second time for allegedly fencing stolen goods. His arrest comes almost a year after being charged in a nearly identical scheme. He was out of jail on bond at the time.

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office says Jesse Aaron Teaster, 44, of Maryville, was arrested on May 12 and charged with theft of property over $10,000, delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (morphine), and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance in a drug free zone.

Deputies say earlier this year they received a tip that Teaster was selling stolen goods, and sometime trading morphine for goods, at auctions and flea markets all across East Tennessee. The sheriff’s office started working with retailers who provided deputies with $22,000 worth of merchandise to use in the investigation.

Previous story: Blount County man charged in elaborate stolen property fencing operation

Over the course of several months, deputies tracked the merchandise as he conducted his operation at several flea markets. He was eventually arrested at Magnolia Flea Market in Knoxville. Investigators recovered stolen property, some of which was from the retailers the sheriff’s office had been working with.

In June 2016, he was released on bond after being charged in a 38 count indictment, including criminal conspiracy to commit theft over $250,000, numerous theft counts, and numerous drug charges. That investigation began in 2015 after an increase in thefts of lawn mowers, ATVs, utility trailers and other similar items. Investigators ended up searching his business, Ernie’s Auction & More, where they found more than $150,000 in stolen property.

Teaster is currently being held on $650,000 bond pending a court hearing on July 12.

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