JUNE 4--A suburban mom--and budding equestrian--has for years maintained a secret life as the alleged head of a multimillion-dollar marijuana grow operation that was finally broken up last month when federal agents raided a New York City warehouse and discovered nearly 3000 pot plants and state-of-the-art cultivation equipment, The Smoking Gun has learned.
Andrea Sanderlin, 45, was arrested two weeks ago outside a Queens building housing a “sophisticated operation to grow and process marijuana,” according to a Drug Enforcement Administration agent. During the May 20 raid, investigators seized about 2800 pot plants, “large quantities of dried marijuana,” and “lighting, irrigation and ventilation systems.”
Sanderlin was subsequently named in a criminal complaint charging her with narcotics trafficking, a felony carrying a minimum 10-year prison term. Since her arrest, Sanderlin--who allegedly ran her marijuana business through a front company called “Fantastic Enterprises, Inc.”--has been locked up at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
The DEA’s arrest of Sanderlin--an attractive, divorced mother of two girls (ages 3 and 13) who lives in tony Scarsdale, New York--will likely draw comparisons to the Showtime series “Weeds,” which starred Mary-Louise Parker as the sexy young matriarch of the hydroponic pot-distributing Botwin family.