Sheriff from Arizona talks connection between southern border, North Dakota

Our border with Mexico is more than 1,000 from North Dakota, but the issues facing counties and states down south, are trickling up into North Dakota.

Sheriff Mark Dannels from Cochise County in Arizona is in town this week talking about why the problems in his county, are also the problems of everyone else across the country.

Dannels sees firsthand the issues happening on the southern border.

“It's affected every community in the United States and it's something we all need to recognize when 90 percent of the illicit drugs in the country come through our southern border this country we have a problem,” Dannels said.

Dannels is in North Dakota talking to sheriffs and county representatives about how the issues in places like Arizona where he lives, aren't staying down there. He shared stories about how he and his son were threatened by cartels, leading to his son leaving the state.

“We live quite a ways away from the border so a lot of people see it as an out of sight out of mind issue when in fact it's not and that's where I go back to the drug problem that is a border issue that's hitting our state every day,” Burleigh County Sheriff Kelly Leben said.

Leben says about 10 years ago they saw a shift. Before that, he says a lot of drugs were homemade, but now they see the drugs coming in from other places. Dannels says the biggest problem he sees is smuggling: a lot of drugs, but also of people.

“Talking to your local sheriff he said there's a methamphetamine issue here well it starts in my backyard and it's coming to yours so we got to share those backyards right now,” Dannels said.

Dannels says his county is working in conjunction with the other 30 counties along the border, and the states to address what's happening. One of the measures they've taken is installing about 700 cameras along, and near the border to catch those going across. But he says it's not enough.

Leben says supporting Dannels, and the efforts along the borders will help address the issues happening in North Dakota.