A pot mom in New York accused of running a multi-million dollar marijuana ring was released on bail after friends raised $500,000.
Andrea Sanderlin is a mother of two who has been dubbed pot mom by media since she was arrested last month. The 45-year-old is awaiting trial on federal drug charges.
On Friday the pot mom pleaded not guilty to charges including manufacturing and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute it .The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said Sanderlin maintained a warehouse where the marijuana was grown and distributed.
Authorities said a raid of the Queens warehouse that served as center for operations turned up a host of evidence against Sanderlin.
“The warehouse was filled with over $3 million worth of hydroponic marijuana, and the organization covertly produced 3,000 marijuana plants,’ said Brian Crowell, special agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency. He added that a raid of the pot mom’s New York home turned up books on how to grow marijuana and launder money.
Though Sanderlin looks like a typical suburban mom and has gained comparisons to Mary-Louise Parker’s character on the Showtime program Weeds, prosecutors said in essence she is no different than drug lords for Colombia.
Sanderlin had some help with her bail. Four people, including two claiming to be friends of the father of Sanderlin’s 3-year-old daughter and two others who were with her at a social gathering, came together to help pay the hefty bail. The unusual relationships led a judge to require signatures from Sanderlin’s mother and stepfather saying they approved of the bail posting.
As a condition of her release, the pot mom must remain in the New York City apartment of her children’s grandparents and stay under electronic monitoring.
The pot mom is due back in New York court on July 15. She faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and $10 million in fines.