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Real-life Weeds: Mom Arrested Selling Pot

Think Weeds—that Showtime show about a single suburban mom who sells marijuana to support her kids—is a whimsical, would-never-happen-until-hell-freezes-over fantasy? Tell that to Andrea Sanderlin. This divorced mother of two from upscale Scarsdale, New York has been charged with running “a sophisticated operation to grow and process marijuana” according to a report by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Sanderlin’s similarities to Mary-Louise Parker’s character are hard to ignore: According to Sanderlin’s lawyer, Joel Winograd, the 45-year-old is a “full-time mother” of two girls, age 3 and 13, with no criminal record. She loves riding horses, drives a Mercedes SUV, and lives in a five-bedroom Spanish-style mansion on Saxon Woods Road.

Yet the DEA started investigating in April after receiving an anonymous tip that a woman named “Andi” was growing pot in a warehouse in Queens—and that warehouse was sucking down an unusually high amount of electricity. There, they discovered two rooms with state-of-the-art lighting, irrigation and ventilation systems perfect for pot growing. In the words of DEA Special Agent Brian Crowell, the warehouse hid a “highly sophisticated indoor marijuana grow operation… the warehouse was filled with over $3 million worth of hydroponic marijuana and the organization covertly produced nearly 3,000 marijuana plants.” In her home, they found books on how to grow pot and money laundering.

The feds seized the stash and arrested Sanderlin, who pleads not guilty and is awaiting bail. She could face up to ten years in jail. Not exactly the quirky comedy ending on Weeds, is it?

Photo via Handout/Reuters

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