North Dakota’s crime statistics report for 2014 is a mixed bag.
The overall crime rate is up by about 4 percent, compared with 2013.
The report shows a marked increase in drug arrests. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the number of drug arrests was 4000 in 2014 – up nearly 18 percent from 2013. And Stenhejem says the arrests involve more serious drug activity.
"Very often, we're seeing that these folks are outlaw motorcycle gangs," said Stenehjem. "They're drug cartels. And when they come up here, they have much larger amounts of the drugs. And they're very often heavily armed."
Stenehjem says those drug arrests are not just happening in western North Dakota.
"They may be bringing product to Fargo or Grand Forks," said Stenehjem. "Some of it is intended to be moved to western North Dakota, because the price of drugs is very high out there. But there is a market in other parts of the state."
Stenehjem says the good news from the 2014 report is – arrests for aggravated assault and DUI have dropped.
"Perhaps that's showing that the laws we passed in 2013 have proven to be very successful," said Stenehjem. "Also, the 24/7 program may be something that is working well."
Stenehjem also says the number of burglaries in 2014 dropped nearly 9 percent from 2013.
North Dakota reported 19 homicides in 2014. In 2013, that number was 14. But Stenehjem says you shouldn't read too much into that, because North Dakota has very few murders. The average has been 12 per year.
You can read the reports here: