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Federal government taking aim at oil patch drug crimes

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The federal government is taking steps to address an increase in drug-related crimes in the oil patch of western North Dakota and eastern Montana.

Director of National Drug Control Policy R. Gil Kerlikowske (kur-lih-KOW'-skee) says in a letter to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota that Williams County is being designated a part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, paving the way for more federal help.

The Drug Enforcement Agency also has assigned a special agent to Bismarck.

Kerlikowske visited North Dakota and Montana in July with Heitkamp and Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.