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Oil Patch Drugs

The western part of North Dakota, the “oil patch,” was once a great place to get away from the world. With lots of room and not very much money in play, you could escape the hustle and bustle of the more “civilized” parts of the country. Not so much anymore. When there’s money on offer, the hustle and bustle comes to you. Along with the legit businesses trying to sell cars and other luxury goods, organized crime and drug dealers show up, peddling their wares as well.

According to reporting on Inforum.com (paywall piece), the feds have shown up as well – hot on the trail of motorcycle gangs selling their own brand of crime. More resources from federal law enforcement is an attempt to prevent gangs from gaining traction in the area and establishing the solid connections they need to effectively run drugs into the area.

With hundreds of “outlaw” biker gangs in the US using their organizational power for criminal activities, it’s no easy thing to keep them out of an area. They don’t just offer drugs, but weapons and paid-violence as well. Need some enforcing done? They are often for hire. Looking to start up a prostitution ring? The bikers can refer you.

Of course, most motorcycle clubs don’t fit this description. But the few which do tend to tarnish all clubs with their criminal ways. In the Oil Patch, it may be the perfect soil for these outlaw clubs to grow new affiliate clubs by getting new members from the young and relatively wealthy oil workers. The machismo so prevalent in the industry feeds into the appeal of the outlaw bike clubs where freedom and self reliance is valued. The freedom of the open road as well as the freedom to ignore laws you don’t much care for.

The expectation, from law enforcement and locals, is that things will get worse before they get better. Money attracts drugs, no matter if that money comes from Hollywood celebrity or oil.

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