November 3, 2011

Organized crime taking foothold

Organized crime taking foothold
Development comes with dark side
By STU MERRY

Young Luke Skywalker, the hero of the Star Wars saga, had his demons to face and, in the end, he prevailed over the forces of the dark side.
While the oil industry in western North Dakota is not necessarily Darth Vader, it definitely has a dark side.
Ladd Erickson, McLean County states attorney, and Tim Purdon, presidentially appointed U. S. Attorney, Bismarck, met with Garrison Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs members Monday.
While they and McLean County Sheriff Don Charging told about the dark side of what is occurring in the oil patch, they provided hope that, like Luke Skywalker, there will be a good ending.
The dark side includes organized crime, including drug traffic and dealers who can be traced back to Mexico. Other forces of evil include illegal immigration and prostitution.
While McLean County is on the fringe of the bustling oil industry, Charging said he’s already seeing an upturn in crime.
“We’re seeing more weapons and drug trafficking,” he said.
Purdon, who owns a cabin near Douglas Bay, west of Garrison, doesn’t want to be an alarmist, but he admitted there will be negatives with growth.
 


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