‘Smuggling In Suburbia’: Is Lifetime Movie— A True Story?


Smuggling in Suburbia–the latest Lifetime movie involves a single mom who tries to free her daughter after she is arrested in an illegal diamond smuggling ring. Direction for this Lifetime flick comes from Doug Campbell, and the writing is by Robert Ingraham. The cast includes Monroe Cline, Darlene Vogel, and Shelby Yardley. Is Smuggling In Suburbia a true story? Find out below.


Smuggling In Suburbia: Lifetime Movie Reviews (Synopsis)

A struggling single mother battles for her teenage daughter’s freedom after she is arrested by federal
agents for being involved in an illegal diamond smuggling operation.

Joanie is a bubbly teen in the courier business. Traveling to exotic places to deliver camera equipment to photographers seems like a dream job. Soon she meets and falls deeply in love with fellow courier Tucker. Her family knows nothing about the new job, and she swears her younger brother, Peter, to secrecy. Still, Joanie’s mother discovers her daughter’s secret and hits the roof while Joanie is out of town making deliveries.


Smuggling In Suburbia | Friday Promo

Joanie's job took a drastic change. 💎💵 Shocktober brings you Smuggling In Suburbia starring Shelby Yardley Friday at 8/7c.

Posted by Lifetime Movies on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

During one of Joanie’s trips, she becomes curious about what’s inside the camera cases and looks inside. To her surprise, hidden in one of the lenses is what every woman wants—diamonds! Worried, Joanie quickly realizes this is no ordinary courier job, she’s in the diamond smuggling business. Joanie quits the job, which makes Danny angry and suspicious.

After some time, Joanie discovers her kid brother is sick with cancer of the intestines, so makes a few more runs to earn large cash payouts to pay for her brother’s surgery, help the family financially, and buy herself a few expensive things that will make her the envy of every girl at school.

With money rolling in, Joanie’s plan is simple. Make the money and get out. However, the feds are on to her, and Joanie finds herself under arrest. The story gets worse. When Joanie’s mother, Georgia, learns her daughter is under arrest, she whirls into action and absorbs everything she can about the pending charges against Joanie.

Joanie and Georgia find out that the situation is worse than what they believed. Joanie is smuggling blood diamonds from Africa, and the operation is one that finances the same group that attacked America on September 11. Joanie is considered a threat to America!

Georgia’s wranglings with the Department of Homeland Security is a nightmare. But there’s an outlet. If Joanie will flip on her friends and disclose confidential information about the illegal operation, she’ll get a plea deal.

There’s one more problem: Joanie is in love with Tucker and fears turning him in. Tucker, however, should be the least of her worries, Danny doesn’t trust her and plans to kill her.

Will Georgia be able to save her daughter before she ends up dead?


Related Articles: Do You love Lifetime Movie Thrillers? Check These Out!

Smuggling in Suburbia: A True Story?

In a word, no. But here are some interesting stories that could have inspired the plot.

  •  In a Time magazine article, we learn  a little about Mbuyi Mwanza, a 15-year-old African boy who spent back-breaking days mining diamonds in the Democratic Republic of Congo, so he could help buy medicine for his ailing father and food for the family to eat.

  • According to Economic Times, Jiang Sulian, a Chinese woman, smuggled and swallowed a diamond to hide it from authorities. It became lodged in her intestines, and she had to have surgery.

  • In 2012, police arrested a Lebanese smuggler for hiding polished diamonds in his stomach. Laxatives helped remove them.



Blood Diamonds in Africa…

Posted by African Queens Collective on Sunday, July 19, 2015




In Fiction

  • The book, Death Mark, By Anthony J. Broughton, tells the story of a problem teen, who gets caught up in the dangerous world of diamond smuggling. She is later arrested by immigration officials and sent to prison for a year before becoming an African mercenary.


Filmed in Los Angeles, California, Smuggling In Suburbia is produced by Timothy O. Johnson, Joseph Wilka, Robert Ballo, and Dan Golden. It airs Friday, October 4 at 8/7 p.m. on Lifetime Movie Network (LMN).



[Main image via Lifetime Television/with permission]

Traciy Curry-Reyes

Traciy Curry-Reyes is the founder and editor-in-chief of TV Crime Sky. She began her career as a true crime & entertainment freelance writer in the 1990's for her website, The Movies Based on True Stories Database/Archives. She has contributed content to other websites, such as Examiner.com and Inquisitr.com. Traciy also appears as a true-crime expert and commentator on TV One's Fatal Attraction, For My Man, and Justice by Any Means; Investigation Discovery's Murder Calls and Scorned; Oxygen's Snapped; FOX's Crime Watch Daily; and Lifetime Television's Killer Kids.