New Episodes of The Trafficked Podcast with Mariana van Zeller Available Weekly Beginning Dec. 1, Coinciding With the Emmy®-Nominated Series Season Two Premiere on National Geographic at 9/8c
Season Two of the Podcast Brings Listeners Deeper Into the Underworld of Black Market Plastic Surgery, Romance Scams, Marijuana, Motorcycle Clubs, Meth and White Supremacy
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ahead of the premiere of the second season of Emmy-nominated investigative series TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 9/8c, National Geographic announced the release of an all-new season of the series’ companion podcast. After each episode of the television series, award-winning journalist Mariana van Zeller delves deeper into the topics with additional new stories to get further insight into the lives of traffickers in THE TRAFFICKED PODCAST WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER. Van Zeller has open, empathetic conversations with former and current black-market operators to go behind the curtain of the global underworld and meet the people who make their livelihoods within it. THE TRAFFICKED PODCAST, produced for National Geographic by Muck Media, is available wherever you listen to podcasts on Dec. 1.
This season of THE TRAFFICKED PODCAST WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER will feature candid interviews with The Black Madam, who administered illegal silicone injections to give trans and cisgender women the body of their dreams; Lee Strimpel, a former member of a group of high school friends who teamed up with their Spanish teacher to build a marijuana smuggling empire across the U.S.-Mexico border; former meth dealer and addict Al Perratt; Frank Meeink, who was once one of the most prominent neo-Nazis in the U.S., and more. Each episode pulls back the curtain on the person at the center: how they became involved, what it felt like to live in the shadows and how it all crumbled in the end.
Armed with National Geographic’s trademark inside access, TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER follows Peabody and duPont Award-winning journalist van Zeller as she explores the inner workings of the global underworld’s most dangerous black markets. In each episode, she journeys inside a different black market or trafficking network — from drugs and stolen cars to outlaw bikers and Amazon mafias — to meet the players, learn the business, and better understand the world’s multitrillion-dollar shadow economy. The sophomore season premieres Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 9 p.m. EST/PST on National Geographic and will stream on Hulu. TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER: Click Here for the official trailer.
Podcast topics include:
Shots in the Dark: The Black Madam
The Black Madam was an aspiring rapper who made her money building a business she believed in: administering illegal silicone injections to give trans and cisgender women the bodies of their dreams. After all, she’d once been in their shoes. But the deadly dangers of the black market caught up with her—and so did the police.
Trust Me: The Story of Derek Alldred
Derek Alldred could have been an actor. He first invented characters to fuel an addiction, putting on costumes and playing trustworthy roles that put people at ease and got him what he wanted. But as his lies left a trail of destruction, he had to invent more aliases to cover his tracks, a web that spun out of control. But the curtain dropped when a girlfriend found his iPad—and his real name. Alldred received an astounding 24-year sentence in federal prison. He tells the story of his shifting identity.
Fast Times at Coronado High: The Coronado Company
Just off the coast of San Diego, a group of high school surfers signed up for an unusual extracurricular activity: international weed smuggling. They called themselves the Coronado Company, and Lee Strimpel joined the ranks—along with their former Spanish teacher. For years, Strimpel and the team of “pot marines” circumvented the U.S.-Mexico border. What started with a bunch of high school buddies shuttling bundles of marijuana on their surfboards became a multimillion-dollar smuggling empire. Their hauls grew bigger, and so did their means of transport. But when they tried to expand their business across the Atlantic, the DEA caught wind. Strimpel’s plans crashed in a cinematic takedown on a freezing winter night in Maine.
Brotherhood to Betrayal: Frank D’Alesio’s Story
By the 1980s, outlaw motorcycle clubs had been deemed “organized crime on wheels” by federal agencies. This was the world that Frank D’Alesio entered as a rookie ATF agent, launching a string of undercover operations that would define his career. By investigating the most notorious motorcycle clubs, D’Alesio’s work pulled him deep into a realm of brutal traditions, tested loyalties, and illegal arms dealing and ended with him at the helm of his very own gang.
Run for the Hills: How Pastor Al’s Meth Ring Began
Al Peratt’s trafficking career started when he was in the military. He was a legal clerk by day and hashish dealer at night. That turned to heroin and then, after a lengthy prison sentence, dealing meth in San Diego’s biker scene. After a conflict, he fled the city but brought his old habits with him. Peratt moved to the Black Hills in rural South Dakota and started one of the area’s biggest meth rings.
Trafficking Hate: Frank Meeink
Frank Meeink was one of the most prominent neo-Nazis in the U.S. and the inspiration for the character played by Edward Norton in the 1998 film “American History X.” At age 17, he was hosting a neo-Nazi cable-access TV show and touring the country, preaching white nationalism. After Meeink kidnapped a rival gang member, he was arrested and served just under two years behind bars. But when he took a job moving antique furniture for a Jewish boss, his perspective shifted.
Mariana van Zeller (@marianaVZ) is an award-winning correspondent and investigative journalist. Her 2016 investigation “Death by Fentanyl,” which tracked the pharmaceutical and clandestine sources of the deadly opioid, was honored with a DuPont Award. For her report “Rape on the Reservation,” which examined the increased incidence of rape and sexual violence on American Indian reservations, she received the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. And her documentary on prescription drug abuse and pill trafficking, “The OxyContin Express,” received a Peabody Award, a Television Academy Honor and an Emmy nomination.
THE TRAFFICKED PODCAST WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER is produced for National Geographic by Muck Media. For Muck Media, Margaret Katcher is lead producer; Abi Speers and Francesca Fenzi are associate producers, and Paula Benson is line producer. Executive producers are Jeff Plunkett, Darren Foster and Mariana van Zeller. At National Geographic Audio, Special Projects Editor is Jacob Pinter and Special Projects Producer is Brian Gutierrez. Executive Producers are Chris Albert, Bengt Anderson, Davar Ardalan, Sean Johnson. This podcast is a companion to TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER on National Geographic.
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Fowzia Iranpur, Fowzia.Iranpur@natgeo.com