BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota law enforcement agencies participating in a joint detail as part of the American Governors’ Border Strike Force recently seized more than 50 pounds of illegal drugs, including enough fentanyl to kill hundreds of thousands of people.
Gov. Doug Burgum signed a memorandum of understanding in April with 25 fellow governors to create the American Governors’ Border Strike Force to better address the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and the negative effects of increased illegal immigration on public safety and crime in states including North Dakota. The strike force aims to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations and combat human trafficking and drug smuggling activities.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP), North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and North Dakota State & Local Intelligence Center (SLIC) participated in a joint Border Strike Force enforcement detail in North Dakota on Aug. 22-28.
Officers participating in the weeklong detail pursued six vehicles that fled from law enforcement, recovered one stolen vehicle, and seized more than $26,000 in U.S. currency, eight illegal firearms, nine vehicles and 51.6 pounds of illegal drugs. The drugs included 1.1 pounds of cocaine, 26.3 pounds of marijuana, 16.5 pounds of methamphetamine and 7.7 pounds of fentanyl.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considers 2 milligrams of fentanyl a potentially lethal dose. By that measure, the fentanyl seized during the detail was enough to potentially kill every North Dakotan more than twice over.
“This detail demonstrates how coordinating our law enforcement resources can make a real difference in addressing the negative impacts on our communities from drug trafficking, human trafficking and other border-related crimes,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to the Highway Patrol, BCI, SLIC and all law enforcement agencies across our state for their efforts to thwart illegal activity and help keep North Dakota’s communities and citizens safe.”
“I commend the law enforcement professionals who executed this successful operation, and we pledge to continue efforts to seize dangerous drugs and other contraband that threatens our communities,” Attorney General Drew Wrigley said.
“The results of this detail offer a glimpse at how the illicit supply of drugs is impacting every state in the nation, including our own,” said Col. Brandon Solberg, superintendent of the NDHP. “Public safety agencies are committed to working together to ensure North Dakota remains a safe place to visit, live, work, and raise a family.”
Led by Arizona and Texas, the Border Strike Force also includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
For information on treatment and other resources for addressing the disease of addiction, visit the state Behavioral Health Division’s website here.