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Scarsdale Marijuana Mom Indicted in Federal Court

weedsAndrea Sanderlin, Scarsdale's "Marijuana Mom," was indicted in federal court in the Eastern District of New York on Tuesday June 18 and charged with manufacturing and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute it and maintaining a drug-involved premises. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorneys Office, "Sanderlin, 45, was arrested on May 20, 2013, when federal agents and detectives seized over 2,800 marijuana plants, large quantities of dried marijuana, and state-of-the-art marijuana growing equipment from a marijuana grow house in Maspeth, Queens."

Officials spared no words for the drug dealer who posed as an upper middle class suburban mom and interior designer. U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said, ""Sanderlin could have focused her talents on building a legitimate business enterprise to support her family and serve as a role model for her children. Instead, she allegedly chose to inhabit the shadowy underworld of large-scale drug dealers, using drug proceeds to maintain her family's fa├žade of upper middle class stability. Sanderlin turned a commonplace warehouse in the heart of Queens into a sophisticated center for growing massive quantities of marijuana for distribution. We are committed to investigating and prosecuting organized drug activity in our communities, no matter who runs the organization or how well it is hidden. Those who use our neighborhoods to grow and introduce illegal drugs into the community will face the full force of the law."

DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Crowell emphasized the dangers of marijuana which many think should be legalized. He said, "Marijuana is the most abused drug in the nation with 6.5% of high school seniors smoking marijuana on a daily basis. The high THC purity continues to derail more and more teens and young adults into substance abuse programs due to its ever-increasing potency."

Even the Department of Homeland Security was involved. Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes compared Sanderlin to drug runners in South America, saying, "There's really no difference whether you're a suburban mom growing marijuana in a warehouse in Queens, or a cartel member making cocaine in the jungles of Colombia -- manufacturing and distributing illegal narcotics comes at a hefty price when you are caught by law enforcement."

A recent article in the Journal News provided more information about Sanderlin who few in Scarsdale seem to know. According to the article, Sanderlin is from Iowa where she attended but did not graduate from Bettendorf High School. Her Dad says she was "thrown out of high school, " married William Sanderlin and had a baby at the age of 18. The couple filed for bankruptcy in 1991 and split up and her son remained with his Dad. Since then, she has married and divorced again, and had two more children, ages 13 and 3, each fathered by different men.

If she is convicted, Sanderlin could face up to 10 years in prison and $10 million in fines.

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