Andrea Sanderlin, the New York mom who is heralded as being a real-life Nancy Botwin from "Weeds," pleaded guilty to running a marijuana empire worth millions. The soccer mom/drug kingpin faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in a federal prison and is out on bail while she awaits sentencing.
“From 2009 to 2013 in Queens, New York, I operated a facility in which I, together with others, grew at least 1,000 marijuana plants and sold the marijuana product from the plants,” Sanderlin said in court.
The marijuana growing mama originally pleaded "Not guilty," but changed her plea, hoping that would help her when it's time for her to receive her sentence. If the judge decides that she qualifies for a "safety valve," she could receive less than the 10-year minimum sentence. The safety valve refers to a statute that is sometimes used to reduce a minimum sentence for offenders who are willing to cooperate and don't have an extensive and/or violent criminal history.
Sanderlin's operation lasted from 2009 to 2013. After she was linked to a Queens warehouse and a search warrant turned up more than 2,800 plants, the mom was arrested.
It didn't take long for the comparisons between the 45-year-old mom of three and a popular character from Showtime's Weeds to begin. Like Sanderlin, Nancy Botwin was a mom who ran a weed empire out of a warehouse, lived in a plush, suburban home and was eventually arrested.
Sanderlin was paying $10,000 per month in rent for her 5,000-plus square foot Scarsdale mansion:
Sanderlin has been promoted to hero status in some circles, with supporters saying the mom should be let off with no jail time or fines. Do you think "Pot Mom" should receive less than the 10-year minimum sentence? Respond below.
JURY NULLIFICATION!! DON'T CONVICT NON-VIOLENT 'CRIMINALS'!! NY mom pleads guilty to running pot-growing operation http://t.co/LYb8tg3DR3
— Theresa Knox (@TheresaKnox) October 9, 2013
She shouldn't get any jail time because she became an awesome real life version of Nancy Botwin http://t.co/7246XBm4Hi
— Matt (@MattHartTB12) October 9, 2013
Images via YouTube