Mom accused of running large pot growing operation

June 4, 2013 8:03:52 PM PDT
A mother of two from Scarsdale is accused of running "a sophisticated operation to grow and process marijuana" from a warehouse in Queens that "was using an unusually high amount of electricity."

Agents seized more than 1,000 marijuana plants and large quantities of dried marijuana. 45-year-old Andrea Sanderlin is now charged with intending to distribute.

The corner house on Saxon Woods Road in Scarsdale has well tended gardens and manicured shrubs.

But the owner has neglected the grass just lately, which is annoying to the well healed neighbors, but this isn't the grass that got the owner in trouble.

Jason Pack said he saw the police cars.

"I saw the police cars in the driveway, they were here like all day, they got there at 8 o'clock in the morning, I went out for a little while, I came back and they were still there, I went back out and they were still there, they didn't leave until 7:30, 8 o'clock," Pack said.

It was a hydroponic cash cow, the warehouse in Maspeth, Queens.

The feds found tens of tens of thousands of dollars in cash, and an indoor farm with marijuana growing everywhere, $3 million worth, along with all the tools any good farmer would need for growing and packaging.

"I saw her drove by, and she didn't stop normally how she stops. She stopped up there and that's when they pulled her and the guys all came out, it was all like 'get down on the floor, get down on the floor, put your hands up' it was nuts!" said Anthony Flores, a witness.

Sanderlin has a passion for horses. But federal prosecutors say she paid for her lavish lifestyle by growing and selling millions of dollars worth of high grade marijuana in a warehouse she had converted into a hydroponic garden. In the upscale streets of Scarsdale, it is not what people do.

"Pot growing is not something I had on the radar screen and not something that I would expect, certainly not from a neighbor," said Libby Barnea, a neighbor.

"It's a little scary. It's not something you would expect in this community, in a safe community, you know a good school district, and marijuana and someone busted for marijuana," Pack said.