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As oil patch booms, drug arrests spike

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BILLINGS, Mont. — The booming Bakken oil patch that’s given a major boost to U.S. energy production has emerged as a new front in the fight against drug trafficking.

Organized crime rings are popping up in the Northern Plains, with traffickers sensing opportunity in the thousands of men and women lured there by the hope of a big paycheck.

Law-enforcement officers across the region have teamed up to crack down on the trafficking, netting one of their most significant indictments…

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