The Bakken Shales have provided so many with jobs and financial freedom throughout the United States. People have flocked to the remote small towns of North Dakota in hopes to find work, and wealth in the oil and gas industry. With the masses, have come an unknown amount of criminals in hopes to corrupt the working hands, or find profit of their own. Rumors of prostitutes and hookers leaving the comforts of New york for the money that flows from the hands of lonely roughnecks, into their pocket books have only been the beginning of crime rolling into North Dakota and surrounding areas. With the movement has brought on a slew of drugs, with cartels trying to manipulate the rising population to suit their own cruel intentions. Thankfully, the federal and state officials have put their resources to use, and have worked overtime to help curb the crime rate, starting with known drug problems that have recently flooded the Bakken Shales, stemming from North Dakota and into Montana.
Recently, officials announced their success with a huge Bakken area drug bust that traveled all the way to Spokane Washington. A dealer, who went by the name Dr. Bob, was reportedly responsible for supplying local drug dealers with methamphetamine in multiple small towns on the Bakken Shale formations. Dr. Bob’s criminal network, reportedly, was brought to an end when officials closed in on several residents in Montana that were directly receiving supplies from the Spokane resident. Six were arrested in Montana, and four more a few days later in North Dakota.
The officials responsible for ending the reign of Dr. Bob, attribute the bust to a program they call, “Project Safe Bakken.” Project Safe Bakken was put into full force when an FBI agent was shot in the small town of Keene N.D. while in an effort to carry out a search warrant. Thankfully, the agent was not seriously injured, yet the incident put into perspective the growing drug problem and crime rate.
With a larger population, comes a larger crime network, and many areas of North Dakota and Montana are growing by the thousands every month. Although, Project Safe Bakken has been around for over a year, it never really took full force until an FBI agency was placed in the Bakken this past July. With more assistance to the struggling officials provided, they were able to open more cases, that until recently, had been sealed. Truth being, that until the FBI moved in, police officials were ill equipped to handle organized crime.
In the heart of the Bakken patch lies the Indian reservation, this is where organized crime has focused a majority of their time in the past few years. It is here that they have found a drug ring responsible for trafficking heroin and other harmful drugs that were trying to make there way further into the Bakken Fields. In this case 22 people were charged with trafficking citations and arrests with direct relation to this drug ring.
At one time, the Bakken was considered a relatively safe place with rolling fields of corn and farming communities. Now the Bakken is home to more people then ever anticipated, some welcome the wealth, others are not adjusting as well due to the traffic and crime rate. Thankfully, the FBI has made arrangements to assist the struggling small town police officials, and implement the idea of, “Project Safe Bakken.” Perhaps with officials curbing the drug trafficking and crime rate, the community of the Bakken will find balance with the growth and wealth. Making the vast communities in the area, as charming and enjoyable, as they once were.