HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Tim Fox is visiting the U.S.-Mexico border to spotlight what he calls a crisis that has brought an influx of illegal drugs to the state.

Fox spoke to reporters by phone Tuesday from El Paso, Texas. He says some of the methamphetamine trafficked into Montana is coming across the border and he’s there to learn what’s happening firsthand.

He says a surge of people crossing illegally into the U.S. is diverting Border Patrol resources that might otherwise go to stop drugs.

Fox is a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor. The field also includes U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, who visited the U.S.-Mexico border in January.

Fox defended making the trip, which is being paid for by the state, saying it’s where he needs to be as Montana’s top law enforcement officer.

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