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FBI eyes permanent agents in Bakken, sparking flap

By The Associated Press
Published On: Jan 17 2014 02:49:20 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 17 2014 03:51:41 PM MST
BAKKEN
BILLINGS, Mont. -

An FBI spokesman says the agency is considering permanent agents in the Bakken oil patch of Montana and North Dakota as the drilling boom drives crime rates higher.

That's sparked a dispute between the states' U.S. senators over where the agents should be located.

Crime on both sides of the border has spiked as thousands of new workers arrive with drug traffickers following in their wake. Since July, two agents and an intelligence specialist have been stationed in Sidney, Mont.

North Dakota Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven want the agents moved about 45 miles northwest to Williston, N.D.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester wants the agents to remain in Sidney.

FBI spokesman Kyle Loven in Minneapolis said Friday that a final decision will be made by FBI headquarters.