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Lifestyle

May 2, 2013

Bounty hunter show tracks down viewers for Latino channel

LOS ANGELES — The star of this reality show is a Mexican immigrant who carries pink handcuffs.

The bounty hunter show “Fugitivos de la Ley: Los Angeles” boasts a cast that includes two real-life federal agents and a fireplug of a man, a former U.S. Marine from Riverside, Calif. There’s also a 29-year-old firefighter who grew up in Pacoima and is nicknamed “Bombero” — Spanish for fireman — and a German shepherd named Cooper.

“Fugitivos” is an attempt by the small bilingual cable channel Mun2 to boost its profile by tapping into the richness of L.A.’s Latino population to find compelling characters and stories.

“We are not your Hollywood-looking people, but we are as real as it gets,” said Roman Morales III, 48, the former Marine, who also is a former federal police officer and the father of five.

Cast members have real-life experience collaring criminals. The one with the pink handcuffs is Liliana Monique Covarrubias, a single mother who was born in Mexico, grew up in South L.A., received police training at Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, Calif., and now works for Lipstick Bail Bonds.

“I was just some chick, but they said they didn’t want an actress,” said Covarrubias, the only female cast member. “I love the show because it sets an example: If you do something wrong, we’re going to catch you.”

The show feels a bit like the former Fox series “Cops” or A&E’s “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” But for legal reasons, the chases depicted on “Fugitivos” are dramatizations, reenactments by the cast members and actors hired to play the bad guys. The cases are based on the group’s actual experiences.

“We wanted to do a deep dive into an area where there happened to be a lot of Latino professionals,” said Diana Mogollon, general manager of Mun2. “And we set the show in Los Angeles because we wanted to make it feel realistic and specific to the region.”

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