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North Dakota Factsheet   PDF  Print  Email 

State Facts

Population: 634,448
Law Enforcement Officers: 1,571
State Prison Population: 1,700
Probation Population: 2,970
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 19

Drug Situation: The trafficking and use of methamphetamine is the primary concern for law enforcement and public health officials in North Dakota.

At the present time, no single drug trafficking organization dominates the distribution of methamphetamine.

Mexican poly-drug organizations have sources of supply in Mexico, California, and Washington, and transport methamphetamine into North Dakota via privately owned vehicles, Amtrak trains, and Greyhound buses.

Smaller quantities of methamphetamine are mailed via U.S. mail and Federal Express.

Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations dominate the transportation of marijuana from the Southwest Border to North Dakota.

Private vehicles and commercial mail carriers are used to ship small quantities, ranging from five to ten pounds.

Local cultivation of marijuana is done on a relatively small scale.

2004 Federal Drug Seizures

Cocaine: 0.1 kgs.
Heroin: 0.0 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 0.1 kgs.
Marijuana: 5.9 kgs.
Ecstasy: 1 tablets
Methamphetamine Laboratories: 60 (DEA, state, and local)

Cocaine: Cocaine is no longer the stimulant of choice - methamphetamine surpassed cocaine in that area two years ago.

According to RAC Behrman, the Fargo office encounters very little cocaine today.

Heroin: Heroin distribution and use have not been a significant problem in North Dakota.

Heroin trafficking is a low priority for law enforcement agencies in the state.

Virtually all of the heroin encountered in North Dakota, mainly in Fargo, is black tar heroin from Mexico.

Methamphetamine Lab Seizures: 2000=34, 2001=85, 2002=209, 2003=235, 2004=60

Methamphetamine: The methamphetamine threat in North Dakota is a two-pronged problem.

First, quantities of meth produced by Mexican organizations based in California and Washington are transported into and distributed throughout the state.

Second, meth is increasingly being produced in small laboratories, capable of producing only a few ounces at a time.

Because of the extreme rural nature of the state, as well as the state's dependence on the agriculture industry, there is a high level of use and availability of anhydrous ammonia among the state's legitimate agricultural community.

Farmers use "nurse tanks" to apply anhydrous ammonia in their fields. This has resulted in increased thefts of anhydrous ammonia-commonly used in the "Birch" meth manufacturing method.

A DEA investigation in Grand Forks, North Dakota, resulted in the arrest of two Mexican nationals and the seizure of over ten pounds of meth. A co-conspirator in the same case was arrested for attempted murder of a police officer and possession of over seven pounds of meth.

Another meth case resulted in the arrest of two suspects and the seizure of 10 assault rifles and $10,000 in cash.

According to the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), the number of meth laboratories seized by the DEA and state and local law enforcement agencies has increased sharply over the past few years.

Club Drugs: There have been indications that “Club Drugs” are making their way into the Fargo area in small quantities.

Marijuana: The presence, of marijuana cultivated in Canada (both "B.C. Bud" and hydroponically generated) had increased dramatically.

Canadian drug organizations from Vancouver and Manitoba use the wide North Dakota border with Canada to bring these types of marijuana into the United States; the bulk of the marijuana is destined to areas outside North Dakota.

Other Drugs: There is no significant diversion of legitimate drugs to report.

Drug-Violation Arrests: 2000=55, 2001=42, 2002=52, 2003=34, 2004=45

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation.

Since the inception of the MET Program, a total of 436 deployments have been completed nationwide, resulting in 18,318 arrests.

There have been no MET deployments in the State of North Dakota.

DEA Regional Enforcement Teams: This program was designed to augment existing DEA division resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement.

This Program was conceived in 1999 in response to the threat posed by drug trafficking organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States.

As of January 31, 2005, there have been 27 deployments nationwide, and one deployment in the U.S. Virgin Islands, resulting in 671 arrests.

There have been no RET deployments in the State of North Dakota.

Special Topics: Currently, there are six Task Force Officers, representing five law enforcement agencies, assigned to the DEA in North Dakota.

North Dakota is covered by the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), along with Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

The Midwest HIDTA has established four initiatives in North Dakota: Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Bismarck, Fargo (DEA Task Force), and Grand Forks.

The Midwest HIDTA initially was created to concentrate on fighting the overwhelming increase in the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine.

Accordingly, Midwest HIDTA funds were restricted to methamphetamine investigations.

In 2001, this stipulation was lifted, allowing law enforcement agencies to investigate poly-drug trafficking groups.

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