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Bakken oil booms _ and so does crime on the Plains

As Bakken oil field booms, spike in crimes has the law scrambling in rural Mont., ND, Canada By The Associated Press

GLASGOW, Mont. (AP) ' Drug crimes in eastern Montana are up 172 percent. Assaults in Dickinson, N.D., have climbed 300 percent. And in once-sleepy Plentywood, Mont., there have been three gun-related crimes in the past few months ' a prospect previously unheard of in the tiny community near the Canada border.

Booming oil production has brought tens of thousands of jobs to communities across the Northern Plains. But it also has brought more crime, forcing law enforcement from the U.S. and Canada to deal with spikes in offenses from drugs to prostitution.

The recent killing of Montana teacher Sherry Arnold underscores the changes brought on by the rapid pace of drilling. In the wake of the death, federal prosecutors began a two-day retreat Monday for area law enforcement to craft a common strategy.




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