The well-heeled Westchester woman busted for running a lucrative marijuana grow farm in a Queens warehouse is throwing herself on the mercy of the court. Andrea Sanderlin, who was arrested outside the warehouse in May, admitted in Brooklyn federal court yesterday that she operated the facility between 2009 and 2013. The 45-year-old mother of two faces a 10-year minimum sentence for growing a plant that's legal to smoke in an increasing number of places across America.

When investigators raided the Maspeth, Queens warehouse, they found almost 3,000 pot plants in two rooms with state-of-the-art lighting, ventilation and irrigation. There was also a large amount of dried marijuana. The warehouse had been using an unusual amount of electricity, which made DEA agents confident something was up. According to The Smoking Gun, the investigation began after the bust of another grow business:

The federal investigation of Sanderlin began following the April arrest of five men for their alleged roles in a marijuana grow business operating from two New York City warehouses. That organization, agents allege, was headed by Stephen Haberstroh, a 50-year-old Scarsdale resident who is a longtime friend of Sanderlin (the pair have previously shared addresses in Queens and Manhattan). Jacques Coupet, who was arrested with Haberstroh, is one of Sanderlin’s 34 Facebook friends.

One member of the busted quintet began cooperating with federal investigators and fingered Sanderlin (whom he knew as “Andi”) as the operator of “at least one marijuana grow house in Brooklyn or Queens,” according to the criminal complaint sworn by DEA Agent David Lee.

While managing the grow farm, Sanderlin led a charmed life in a $10,000-a-month, 11-room rented mansion in Westchester, where the divorced mother rode horses and drove a Mercedes Benz. After her arrest, she was forced out of her home with her two daughters, ages three and 13. Sanderlin is currently living with her mother in Manhattan on $500,000 bail.

In pleading guilty, Sanderlin is hoping for an exception to the minimum sentencing requirement, called a "safety valve." According to the Daily News, the so-called valve "could be triggered depending on the defendant having a minor criminal history without violence and a willingness to voluntarily spill everything to prosecutors about the crime."