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Purdon: New ATF director a 'big plus' for Dakotas

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. attorney from North Dakota says the new director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should help the state partly because of his familiarity with the area.

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Todd Jones as head of ATF.

Jones had been working double duty as acting ATF director and U.S. attorney for Minnesota.

The neighboring U.S. attorney, Timothy Purdon of North Dakota, says he has worked closely with Jones over the last three years and calls him a ''dedicated public servant and a great leader.''

Purdon says ATF is an important partner in the effort to combat organized drug trafficking gangs in the oil patch and violent crime on American Indian reservations.

He says having a director who understands those issues is a ''big plus.''