Skip to main content
Press Release

Luray Woman Sentenced for Distributing Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

ABINGDON, Va. – A Luray, Virginia woman, who was found to be in possession of twenty-nine pounds of methamphetamine, was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for possession and intent to distribute more than 500 grams of the drug.

Danica Leigh Strate, 33, pleaded guilty in June 2021 to one count of possessing with the intent to distribute and distributing 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

According to court documents, in November 2019, Strate was living in Stanley, Virginia with co-defendant Gene Anderson Stidham when law enforcement assisted a Virginia probation officer with a search of their residence. During the search, crystal methamphetamine, a wallet, and plastic bags were located.  However, a subsequent search of duffle bags that Stidham and Strate had removed from the residence prior to the search led to the discovery of twenty-nine pounds of methamphetamine, cash, a digital scale, a .380 caliber pistol, and various items associated with drug distribution. Stidham and Strate both admitted to being involved in the distribution of methamphetamine.

Stidham previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and one count of possession with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.  He was sentenced in December 2021 to a term of imprisonment of 180 months.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia and Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Washington Field Division made the announcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, the Page County Sheriff’s Office, the Luray Police Department, the Stanley Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Virginia State Police investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Lee prosecuted the case. 

Updated February 4, 2022