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Senator Heitkamp says drug czar's visit made a difference

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says the decision by the White House to include the oil patch in its national drug control strategy was the result of a visit to the state by the country's former drug czar.

The report released Wednesday singled out the Bakken oil-producing region for a ''burgeoning threat'' of drug distribution and other crime that has overwhelmed law enforcement authorities.

Heitkamp says the administration's focus on the Bakken is an important step. She says the inclusion into the 2014 drug fighting plan came about after she invited R. Gil Kerlikowske to North Dakota last summer.

Kerlikowske was the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the time.

Law enforcement officers are hoping the administration's attention to the Bakken will result in more funding.

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