Andrea Sanderlin, 45, was known to her neighbors in the New York suburb of Scarsdale as a loving mother of three, but what they didn't know was that she was running a multimillion-dollar pot-growing empire, reports the Daily Mail.
Law enforcement agents discovered a warehouse in Queens operated by Sanderlin, under the alias Fantastic Enterprises, that contained thousands of marijuana plants equipped with state-of-the-art lighting, irrigation and ventilation systems. Officials say the New York woman grew 2,800 plants worth $3 million. When DEA officials discovered the warehouse, they seized the marijuana plants, as well as large quantities of dried marijuana, along with special lighting, hydroponic watering system and ventilation equipment.
Sanderlin is compared to the main character of the Showtime comedy Weeds, suburban mom Nancy Botwin, played by Mary-Louise Parker, who built a marijuana-growing operation.
She is described as a full-time mother and horseback rider who never ran into the law before and lives at home with two daughters, aged 3 and 13. Sanderlin has been charged with felony narcotics trafficking and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
“When I first met her she told me she was running a baby furniture operation,” friend Anthony Flores said. “Blew my mind. Especially knowing her like interacting with her day to day. It’s just nuts. I would think not her of all people.”
The DEA said it was tipped off by one of five men it charged with growing and selling pot in two New York City warehouses. The police raided her warehouse on May 20 and arrested Sanderlin shortly after.
Sanderlin pleaded not guilty and a verdict is currently pending.