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Several stores in Erie County have sold pepper spray to underage youths in a statewide sting operation conducted by the New York State attorney general's office, authorities said.

"In the wake of last week's calamity at South Park High School in which four students were hospitalized for exposure to pepper spray that was discharged during a hallway brawl, the results of our sting become even more disturbing," state Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco said Monday.

Youths under 18, he said, are prohibited from purchasing pepper spray.

Hector's Hardware on Harlem Road, Snyder; Hector's Hardware on Maple Road, Amherst; Dick's Clothing and Sporting Goods, Transit Road, Amherst; and Dunham's Sporting Goods, Sheridan Drive, Amherst, face civil charges for allegedly selling the spray, Vacco said.

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