NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suburban mother faces federal drug charges for allegedly running a highly sophisticated marijuana growing operation out of a warehouse in Queens.
As WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reported Tuesday, Andrea Sanderlin of Scarsdale in Westchester County is known to her neighbors as a skilled equestrian.
The mother of two daughters, ages 13 and 3, Sanderlin lives in a beautiful home in a highly sought-after town. Her neighbors told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez they were stunned by the news.
“It doesn’t seem like something you would see in this area of Scarsdale at all,” Jason Paris said.
Sanderlin, 45, was busted by agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency after they raided the business she operated under the name “Fantastic Enterprises.”
Agents seized nearly 3,000 marijuana plants, worth $3 million.
The warehouse featured two large rooms with the kind of lighting equipment, irrigation and ventilation systems needed to grow hydroponic marijuana, officials said.
The DEA said it was tipped off to the marijuana growing operation by the unusually high electric bills.
The DEA spent days following Sanderlin from her Scarsdale home to the Maspeth warehouse. One of Sanderlin’s neighbors, who asked that she not be identified for this story, said police actually raided the family’s home as well.
“They didn’t do anything to disturb us. So I guess you would think it shocking for a fellow Scarsdale mom to be doing this,” the neighbor told Sanchez.
For three years friend Anthony Flores said he thought Sanderlin was a stereotypical soccer mom.
“When I first met her she told me she was running a baby furniture operation,” Flores said. “[The arrest] 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.”
Sanderlin’s arrest also came as a surprise to Scott Tarter of Twin Lakes Farm in Bronxville. He said Sanderlin rode horses at the farm three times a week until she was busted.
“It’s not something I would’ve expected. She was a mom. I never saw anything out of the ordinary,” Tarter said.
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