A North Charleston Police Department unit ticketed seven convenience store employees with selling alcohol to a minor this week during an undercover operation meant to target underage drinking.

The effort by the Special Police Enforcement to Enhance and Deter, or SPEED, team had an underage informant attempt to buy alcohol Monday at businesses citywide, agency spokesman Spencer Pryor said in a statement Thursday. A disguised police officer accompanied the informant.

Seven people sold alcohol to the informant, and each was issued a $470 citation for selling beer to a person under 21, Pryor said.

The businesses where the alcohol was sold, Pryor said, were the H&I Quick Stop at 6325 Park Forest Parkway, the Tiger Mart at 3255 Rivers Ave., the A-1 Food Stores at 4327 Spruill Ave. and 1489 Sumner Ave., the SunFly at 4498 Durant Ave., the Midland Park Corner Store at 2599 Midland Park Road and the Li'l Cricket at 7757 Dorchester Road.

Pryor said the operation was designed to raise awareness among students about the consequences of underage drinking and to get retailers involved in the effort as prom and graduation season begins.

"We continue to work diligently to raise awareness of the dangers involved in underage drinking," Police Chief Eddie Driggers added, "and will continue to hold retailers accountable when they contribute to the problem."

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.