Suburban “Pot Mom” Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Charges

Suburban Mom Running Massive Marijuana Grow House Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug Charges

federal drug chargesOn Tuesday, October 8th, the notorious “pot mom” pleaded guilty to federal drug charges for running a multi-million dollar grow house in Queens, NY.

Andrea Sanderlin, whose life has been compared to popular television show “Weeds,” admitted on Tuesday in a federal court in Brooklyn that she operated a huge marijuana growing facility between 2009 and 2013.

According to reports, Sanderlin first came under suspicion of running a grow house after federal agents in the US Drug Enforcement Agency found a Consolidated Edison utility account linking her to power lighting, irrigation, and ventilation in a Queens warehouse. The operation ran under the umbrella of Sanderlin’s business, Fantastic Enterprises.

In court, Sanderlin admitted that the marijuana grow operation grew at least 1,000 marijuana plants, and “sold the marijuana product from the plants.”

Sanderlin’s business, Fantastic Enterprises, was reportedly a high-end design firm. The cover story allowed her to live on a $10,000-a-month budget, drive high-end vehicles, and keep a horse at a stable.

On May 20th, based on a tip from her neighbors, the Drug Enforcement Agency raided the home of Andrea Sanderlin, now referred to as the “Pot Mom” of Suburban Queens. DEA agents seized nearly 3,000 marijuana plants in a grow house registered to Sanderlin’s business, Fantastic Enterprises. The plants were worth $3 million. They also raided Sanderlin’s home, and arrested her on federal drug charges.

On Friday, June 28th, Sanderlin appeared in federal court in her orange jumpsuit with freshly-bleached hair, and pleaded not guilty to the federal drug charges. However, on October 8th, she appeared to have changed her mind.

Sanderlin is currently out on $500,000 bail. She faces at least 10 years in prison during sentencing for the federal drug charges.

The Drug Bust That Led to Federal Drug Charges

After the DEA received an anonymous tip about Sanderlin, they watched her activities for a week before arresting her.

Sanderlin reportedly owned three cars – a 2004 Jeep Liberty and a 2005 Chevrolet van, as well as a Mercedes SUV. She also took up horseback riding with one of her daughters, and for a short time kept a horse at a nearby stable. According to reports, she sold the animal shortly before her arrest.

On the day of her arrest, officers were in front of her warehouse in Maspeth. Sanderlin saw them and initially refused to get out of her SUV. Agents observed her making phone calls, which they believe were to others to remove cash from her house.

Sanderlin did not give deputies permission to enter her warehouse, but they executed a search warrant on the building.

Officers in front of Sanderlin’s home said that they observed her nanny leave the house with Sanderlin’s 3 year old daughter in a taxi, and return a short time later on foot. When the nanny exited the house with a bag to get into a second taxi, the agent stopped her and found $7,900 inside the bag. The nanny told the officer that she had been instructed to take the young girl to her father – Sanderlin’s boyfriend – and return to the house to get as much cash as she could.

When agents searched Sanderlin’s home, they could another $6,000, as well as books on growing marijuana.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Federal Drug Charges

Former U.S. Attorney Pete Strom’s experience in dealing with government investigations provides the experience that you need when you are faced with an arrest or investigation on federal drug charges. Given that most drug cases involve a search and seizure, we will analyze all of the evidence to determine how to present the most effective defense possible through our familiarity with the Federal Judicial Process and South Carolina’s criminal law. Contact the Strom Law Firm today for a free, confidential consultation to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800

Leave a Reply