National Geographic to Launch Companion Podcast to New Investigative Series Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller

The Trafficked Podcast with Mariana van Zeller To Debut December 3 Following Series Premiere December 2

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National Geographic announced today a companion podcast to the network’s new investigative series, TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER. After each episode of the television series, the award-winning journalist will bring audiences closer to understanding the lives of traffickers in THE TRAFFICKED PODCAST WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER. Van Zeller will sit down with former black-market operators to hear the story of their rise, fall, boom and bust; and spark intimate, honest and empathetic conversations that pull back the curtain on the global underworld and the people who make their livelihoods within it. THE TRAFFICKED PODCAST will be available wherever you listen to podcasts on Thursdays, beginning December 3.

THE TRAFFICKED PODCAST will feature candid interviews with country rapper Struggle Jennings about his former life dealing prescription opioids, Tony Bosch on his infamous role in the largest performance-enhancing drugs scandal in American sports history, and the “Hollywood Madam,” Heidi Fleiss. Van Zeller will reveal how they got pulled to the dark side; how they got caught; and what it was like to live the outlaw lifestyle.

Armed with National Geographic’s trademark inside access, the eight-episode television series Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller, premieres December 2 at 9/8c, with van Zeller as both executive producer and correspondent. Each investigation takes viewers on a journey inside the most dangerous black markets on the planet as the Peabody and duPont Award-winning journalist explores the inner workings of different underground economies – from tiger traffickers and international scammers to counterfeiters, gunrunners and fentanyl suppliers. The series offers viewers a mission-driven adventure to places rarely seen, providing an intimate peek behind these criminal curtains.

Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller trailer:

The Trafficked Podcast with Mariana van Zeller trailer:

Podcast topics include the following:

Thursday, December 3

For many years, outlaw country rapper Struggle Jennings chased his music dreams while dealing drugs to pay the bills, until one night in a parking lot in Memphis when it all came crashing down.

Thursday, December 10

Mariana breaks down how Tony Bosch made it big in the billion-dollar market of performance-enhancing drugs – and how he lost it all in a steroid scandal involving some of the biggest names in baseball.

Thursday, December 17

Mariana dives into an underground world of heists, smuggling and organized looting with Michel van Rijn, one of the world’s most prolific artifact smugglers who made dangerous enemies in the billion-dollar illicit art market.

Thursday, December 24

Despite having started her business at just 22, “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss developed a star-studded list of clients, all meticulously organized in her red Gucci planner, lists that eventually helped take her down.

Thursday, December 31

Mariana sits down with one of the original cocaine cowboys to hear about his life as a drug trafficking pilot and the unexpected bust that crashed his flight.

Thursday, January 7

Part of the duo that inspired the movie War Dogs, David Packouz was a major player in the weapons trade by age 25 – until he got caught selling illegal ammo to the U.S. government.

Mariana van Zeller (@marianavz) is an award-winning correspondent and investigative journalist. Her 2016 Fusion investigation “Death by Fentanyl,” which tracked the pharmaceutical and clandestine sources of the deadly opioid was recently 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 prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists. And her documentary on prescription drug abuse and pill trafficking, “The OxyContin Express,” was honored with 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; Ted Woods is executive producer and audio engineer; Abi Speers is associate producer, and Paula Benson is line producer. Executive producers are Jeff Plunkett, Darren Foster and Mariana van Zeller. This podcast is a companion to Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller on National Geographic.

For more information, visit our press room at and follow @NGC_PR on Twitter.

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 132 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27% of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.


Stephanie Silva, 786-239-0515,

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