- Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - Police in the western North Dakota oil patch city of Dickinson say they’re dealing with a worrying reappearance of heroin in the area.

There were 10 heroin-related arrests in the city last year compared with none the year before, and police say it is the biggest illegal drug issue they have.

“There’s a huge resurgence of heroin specifically - many cases - and that is one of the more dangerous drugs that are out there,” Capt. Joe Cianni told KXMB-TV (https://bit.ly/1dmLWVt ). “There is a high mortality rate with first use of heroin, and we have had overdoses in the community recently.”

Crime in western North Dakota has spiked as drug traffickers arrived in the wake of thousands of new workers who flocked to the region in the past couple of years.

“Thugs are going to go where the money is,” Cianni said.

Law enforcement agencies are working to beef up their presence in the oil patch.

A drug task force has added an agent in the Dickinson area. State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem last month said his office is adding a special prosecutor to handle nothing but oil patch drug cases. The special assistant attorney general also will work as a special assistant U.S. attorney. The FBI last July also put three employees in Sidney, Mont., near the North Dakota border.

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Information from: KXMB-TV, https://www.kxnet.com

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