Scarsdale pot mom pleads not guilty in Brooklyn court

June 28, 2013 9:12:11 AM PDT
The mother of two from Westchester County who is accused of running a million-dollar marijuana operation pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn court Friday.

Authorities say 45-year-old Andrea Sanderlin ran the enterprise from a warehouse in Maspeth, Queens, and she also allegedly kept thousands of dollars in cash in her home.

Sanderlin's nanny was also arrested after Sanderlin's boyfriend reportedly called the nanny and told her to gather as much cash as she could from the couple's closet. She managed to collect about $8,000 before being stopped by police herself.

And the sprawling Scarsdale mansion that Sanderlin moved into about 6 months ago reportedly cost between $11,000 and $12,000 a month in rent, all in cash.

It's an expense authorities say she could afford, since her alleged grow house in Queens contained 3,000 pot plants worth an estimated $3 million.

Agents say she may have tried to grow marijuana at two other New York City warehouses, as well. All three locations had exorbitantly high electricity bills consistent with growing weed, and all three were in Sanderlin's name.

And while neighbors are shocked, not everyone thinks Sanderlin's alleged crimes are so bad.

"I think she has an entrepreneurial spirit, and I think that she's great that she's a single mom and that's how she's supporting her kids," one blogger wrote.

Unfortunately for Sanderlin, the feds don't quite agree. She remains in jail, and if convicted, she faces at least 10 years in prison.

Sanderlin arrived in court still dressed in her prison uniform, her bleached-blonde hair drawing eyes. The perfunctory hearing was a prelude to a bail package her attorneys hoped to put together within the week, in hopes of winning her freedom.

Her trial was given a tentative start date of July 15.