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The blood drenched man had survived a brutal attack: Beaten with brass knuckles, shocked with a stun gun, slashed with a razor blade, then dumped 40 miles away in Montana, he staggered to a farmhouse for help.
Jeffrey Jim Butler, also known as Pops, had an assault and drug record. He's serving a 20 year sentence after pleading guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Federal prosecutions in the western half of North Dakota almost tripled from 126 in 2009 to 336 last year mostly, Purdon says, because of drug cases involving several people.
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known as Kodiak, had transported meth from Washington, according to documents. Though his felony record should have barred him from owning firearms, he was arrested with 22 weapons.
Meth costs more, too
The oil boom in the Bakken shale fields has touched off an explosion of growth and wealth on this remote wind swept prairie. Big money is raining down in small towns. Oil rigs light up the night sky. But the bonanza flourishing here also has brought with it a dark side: a growing trade in meth, heroin, cocaine and marijuana, the shadow of sinister cartels and newfound violence.
The members of this violent gang were all relative newcomers to Williston. They called themselves "The Family," the feds say, and were holed up in a few campers tucked behind a white frame house. They assaulted him in Williston, stuffed him into a car trunk, attacked him again, then left him for dead in a Montana field. He wound up, instead, in a North Dakota hospital, telling the FBI his story.
month period; the intended market, the feds say, was the oil patch. attorney in Montana. "They market it well. They move it well, and it's a battle that we have to continue to fight."
Prices are up, too, fueled by demand in an area where lots of young men are flush with cash, far from their families and have little to do in their spare time. Brian Dahl, also Saucony Mirage 4
In another big drug bust, a 24 year old Bakersfield, Calif., man who was jailed back home on murder, assault and gang charges, was among 22 people indicted in January in "Operation Pipe Cleaner." The group is accused of trafficking drugs in the Dickinson area, about 100 miles from Williston.
Small town police forces have been flooded with service calls. County jails overflow on weekend nights. Drugs and dealers are popping up in all kinds of places:
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Drugs are not new here. Years ago, homegrown meth was a scourge in North Dakota, but its supply was sharply reduced by a crackdown on meth labs and legislation that made it harder to buy ingredients.
Heroin is being trafficked on some isolated Indian reservations. Mexican cartels are slowly making inroads in small town America. And hard core criminals are transporting drugs from other states, sometimes concealing them in ingenious ways: liquid meth in windshield wiper reservoirs. Attorney Tim Purdon. "They're good businessmen. They go where the demand is, and that's what we're seeing here. There's simply a lot of money involved, a lot of money flowing around in those communities."
The Bakken Formation tens of thousands of square miles of Reebok Brown Suede Trainers oil bearing shale under the long, flat prairies of western North Dakota, eastern Montana and part of Canada was touted as a modern day Gold Rush. Thousands flocked here, most law abiding Americans in search of good paying jobs. But the lure of big money was a guaranteed draw, too, for troublemakers.
With the problems becoming more pronounced, the feds are pouring in additional resources to bolster local police and drug task forces.
What they uncovered was a large scale methamphetamine ring that had found a home in a state long known for its slow pace and small town solitude.
In Montana, 70 people have been charged since October in federal drug cases. Last spring, about 10 others, included two reputed members of the notorious Sinaloa cartel, were charged in a drug conspiracy. The two pleaded guilty to distributing at least 80 pounds of meth to local drug dealers within a Reebok Gray Running Shoes
Meth still is most common, but most of it now originates in Mexico. It's more potent and tends to be found in larger quantities. He says he'd probably rate the drug problem in his county a 7 on a scale of 10.
The result: seven guilty pleas. Prison sentences of up to 20 years. And the dismantling of a drug trafficking ring that had been selling meth in one of the fastest growing corners of America.
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