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Drug crime prevalent in oil patch, NoDak AG says

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While North Dakota's oil economy continues to boom, an increase in drug use and drug-related crime appears to be another troubling offshoot of the rush to riches.

The Associated Press reports that North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says his office is worried by the increase in drug crimes in the state's oil patch.

The AP reports that NoDak's crime statistics for last year will be released on July 30. "It's not going to be good," the AG tells the AP.

Political leaders of the region recently had a confab about the problem, the AP reports, including U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven of North Dakota, Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, and the nation's top drug control officer, Richard Gil Kerlikowske of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The bottom line: The largest issue facing North Dakota right now is a lack of law enforcement resources.

Meanwhile, another story by the AP says an environmental group is criticizing a state plan to use money from the oil industry to study radioactive oilfield waste.

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