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North Dakota Oil Boom Brings Mexican Cartel Drug Sales

North-Dakota-Oil-Mexican-CartelFederal law enforcement officials say that Mexican drug cartels have infiltrated the northern United States due to the North Dakota oil boom, reports CNN.

North Dakota Oil Boom

Officials state that organized criminals, including the Mexican cartels, are coming out of areas along the West Coast – Southern California being one of them.

The recent development concerns the FBI, especially since they are unsure which cartels are operating in which specific area.

“We have seen a rise in narcotics investigations and a rise in human trafficking,” states Kyle Loven, FBI spokesperson. “These are organized entities who have shown that they are present in the area. Again, because of the opportunities which exist, that’s a natural thing.”

Also within the last few years, North Dakota oil production has been on the rise. As a result, more jobs needed to be filled. The new increase in production brings tens of thousands of people to the area, many of them young people looking to create a better future. These jobs are good paying jobs. Annual incomes in some areas increased at least 41% from 2007-2011 according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

“There’s a myth perpetuated because the oil prices remain (stagnant) that things have slowed down in the Bakken. That’s not true. There’s a lot of oil still left and people are still coming here,” U.S. attorney for the District of North Dakota, Chris Myers, explained to CNN.

As a result, the Mexican drug cartel sees North Dakota as a lucrative move because of how many young people in the area bring in a decent income. According to the state attorney general’s annual crime report, there was a 27% increase across the state for drug arrests and narcotics violations from 2013-2014.

Meth was already a problem in North Dakota before the oil boom even took place, but the more money and people that have come into the area, the more demand there is for the drug and other substances.

“There’s more money in the region,” said Sylvia Longmire, a Mexican cartels expert and author of Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico’s Drug Wars. “Mexican drug cartels see it as an emerging market they can capitalize on.”

The cost for drugs in North Dakota has been reported as double the cost in other big cities. Despite the higher costs, there does not appear to have been a decrease in drug sales or use in the state – nor does there appear to be an impending drop anytime soon. Many of these workers have a lot more money with very little to do and drugs are used as a means of entertainment. Unless something is done to help stop the sales of these drugs, little will change until the oil boom has tapered off.

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