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Published April 29 2012

Cross-border collaboration sought to combat Bakken crime

BILLINGS, Mont. — The U.S. Attorney for Montana says law enforcement agencies from North Dakota, Montana and Canada have agreed to work across borders to police a spike in crime brought by the Bakken oil boom.

U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter says tens of thousands of workers pouring into the region will strain the resources of prosecutors in sparsely-populated counties.

Complicating the problem are jurisdictional borders between two states, two countries and several American Indian reservations.

The Bakken has emerged as one of the top-producing oil fields in the U.S. Intensive drilling is expected to continue for another decade or more.

At a meeting in Glasgow last week, representatives of the U.S Marshals Service, FBI, EPA and other federal agencies offered training and assistance to local officials grappling with the boom.