(NEW YORK) — Andrea Sanderlin, the suburban mother accused of running a sophisticated $3 million marijuana enterprise out of a New York warehouse pleaded not guilty Friday in federal court.
Sanderlin, 45, of Scarsdale, N.Y., who has been called “pot mom” since her arrest, arrived in court wearing her prison uniform and sporting bleached blonde hair for her arraignment.
The mother of two is charged with manufacturing and possessing marijuana with intent to distribute it, and for maintaining a warehouse where marijuana was grown and processed, according to the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York.
The hearing Friday was a prelude to a bail package her defense attorneys hoped to put together within the week in hopes of winning her freedom. She was returned to jail after the hearing.
Sanderlin’s trial is tentatively scheduled to begin on July 15.
After her arrest, Sanderlin drew comparisons with Nancy Botwin, the maternal drug dealer played by Mary-Louise Parker on the Showtime series Weeds.
Prosecutors, however, alleged in a federal indictment that she was no different than that of Colombian druglords.
Sanderlin was arrested on May 20 after authorities raided a Queens warehouse, where they found $3 million worth of pot, including close to 3,000 plants.
It’s unclear how long she’d been running the alleged operation, but she registered the name Fantastic Enterprises in July 2007, officials said.
If convicted, Sanderlin could face a minimum of 10 years in prison and $10 million in fines.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Robert Boyd, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Euan McKirdy and Natalie L. Gallón, CNN