NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Scarsdale mother has been arraigned on charges she grew thousands of marijuana plants in a highly sophisticated marijuana growing operation out of a warehouse in Queens.
Andrea Sanderlin entered a plea of not guilty Friday in Brooklyn federal court.
The mother of two daughters, ages 13 and 3, Sanderlin, 45, lives in a beautiful home in a highly sought-after town. Her neighbors told CBS 2’s John Slattery they were stunned by the news.
“You would never think a 45-year-old woman would become involved, especially in this nice area,” said neighbor Linda Tibaldi.
Sanderlin was busted by agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency after they raided the business she operated under the name “Fantastic Enterprises.”
Agents allegedly seized nearly 3,000 marijuana plants, worth $3 million from the Maspeth warehouse.
The warehouse featured two large rooms with the kind of lighting equipment, irrigation and ventilation systems needed to grow hydroponic marijuana, officials said.
Sanderlin made the radar of Drug Enforcement Agents in April when one of five men arrested on drug charges pointed the finger at her, Slattery reported.
The DEA also said it was tipped off to the marijuana growing operation by unusually high electric bills — a $9,000 a month Con Ed bill for the warehouse.
The DEA spent days following Sanderlin from her Scarsdale home to the Maspeth warehouse.
Sanderlin’s nanny was picked up leaving the Scarsdale home allegedly taking $7,900 in cash with another $6,000 found in the house, Slattery reported.
Sanderlin was held over for a bail hearing.
“She is the mother of a 3-month-old girl and she is looking forward to getting home to her and her other children,” said Defense Attorney Corey Winograd.
This is not life imitating art. This is real life,” Winograd added.
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