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22 Stores Caught in Liquor Sting

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RALEIGH — Wake County's Alcohol Beverage Controlagents sent teenage decoys into 42 stores last week to buy liquor -- and22 establishments sold it to them. The legal age for purchase of alcohol in North Carolina is 21.

Selling to an underage person is a misdemeanor; violation reports oneach store will also be filed with the Wake ABC Board.

Two young-looking 18-year-olds were used for the operation. They hadbeen told to tell their real age, if asked. They were also instructed toacknowledge they were not 21 if asked and to hand over their correctidentification if asked. In some instances, even after looking over their accurate ID's, the clerks sold the liquor to the teens.

Among the outlets checked by agents and the decoys were supermarkets,convenience stores and the county's own ABC stores.

The teens bought beer and wine coolers. The sting was organized partlydue to complaints that some stores are selling to underage buyers. RonGay, chief law enforcement officer for Wake County ABC, said more stingswill be held.

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