The Most Famous Fugitives Dog The Bounty Hunter Has Caught

He's been capturing individuals on the lam for over 40 years now, and for most of the last two decades, his adventures have been documented on reality television, first (and most famously) on his eponymous A&E show from 2004 to 2012. We are, of course, referring to Duane Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter, who, as you may recall, was in the news just a few weeks ago. He promised to apprehend Brian Laundrie, whose fiancee, Florida-based van life vlogger Gabby Petito, was found dead on September 19, not long after her disappearance made national headlines. Laundrie, who returned home on September 1 without Petito, was reported missing days after he was named a person of interest (via ABC 11), and Dog announced toward the end of the month that he was joining the manhunt for the 23-year-old.

Dog was not able to live up to his promise to catch Laundrie, and that was mainly because his partial remains were found on October 21 at Florida's Carlton Reserve. However, there have been a few other instances where Dog was able to apprehend a particularly notorious fugitive. As noted by The New York Times, he claims that he's caught more than 10,000 fugitives in his long career as a bounty hunter, but there are three of them who stand out for their own specific reasons.

Andrew Luster: The case that helped jumpstart Dog's reality TV career

Make no mistake, this was the case that made Dog the Bounty Hunter a household name. Much of it had to do with the fact that the man whom Dog had captured back in 2003, Andrew Luster, was an heir to cosmetics mogul Max Factor's fortune. Luster fled the United States after being accused of drugging and raping multiple women and videotaping the assaults, as reported by CNN. He was captured by Dog, his son Leland Chapman, and their fellow bounty hunter Tim Chapman (no relation), in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (via The New York Times). 

While it seemed all well and good that the three Chapman men apprehended a wanted fugitive, the other reason why this case is so notorious is that they were soon jailed by Mexican law enforcement authorities for illegally detaining Luster. Dog, Leland, and Tim Chapman then left the country after posting bail, and later in 2003, the Ventura County Superior Court in California ruled that Dog wasn't eligible for the $1 million in bail money that Luster forfeited when he fled the U.S. Justifying why he ruled that the money should go to Luster's victims, Judge Edward Brodie explained that he "cannot do vigilante justice."

Although Dog's legal problems would reemerge in 2006 when all three Chapmans involved in the Luster case were arrested and detained ahead of an extradition hearing in Mexico, his capture of the Max Factor heir was instrumental in A&E's decision to give him his own reality show, "Dog the Bounty Hunter," in 2004.

Dog and Beth Chapman caught Leonard Trujillo Jr. shortly before Beth's death

By 2007, the illegal detention charges against Duane, Leland, and Tim Chapman were dismissed (via Reuters), but that was not the only major challenge Dog dealt with as a celebrity bounty hunter. On June 26, 2019, his fifth wife (and frequent co-star), Beth Chapman, died of throat cancer almost two years after she was diagnosed with the disease. One month before Beth's passing, Dog captured a wanted fugitive, Leonard Trujillo Jr., in Rocky Ford, Colorado, with camera crews following him as his presence piqued the curiosity of locals. According to Pop Culture, Dog was joined by Beth, his youngest son Garry Chapman, and a team called the "Dirty Dozen" that he had assembled for his then-upcoming reality show "Dog's Most Wanted."

"This guy's record is horrendous," Dog was quoted as saying. "He has terrorized this peaceful town enough. He tried to run – but you can't hide from me! We are making America safe again, one city at a time." Beth Chapman also chimed in, tweeting that "someone's about to have a very very bad day."

Trujillo was wanted in El Paso County for first-degree assault and Otero County for failure to appear in court. A press release for "Dog's Most Wanted" also stated that he had a "mile-long rap sheet including armed robbery, assault on a police officer, bank robbery, drug charges, and forgery."

Capturing an accused drug dealer and manufacturer in the time of COVID

Prior to his promise to catch Brian Laundrie, Dog the Bounty Hunter's most recent capture of note was that of Felix Adriano Chujoy, who, together with his mother, ran afoul of the law when they were accused of harboring and employing undocumented immigrants; per the U.S. Department of Justice website, the two former Peruvian restaurant co-owners both pleaded guilty to the charges in federal court in 2017.

A few years later, Chujoy found himself in trouble for unrelated drug charges; allegedly, the young man was a budding Walter White (albeit an ex-restaurant owner and not a chemistry teacher) who was indicted by a grand jury in May 2020 for manufacturing and distributing meth (via Our Community Now). With Chujoy on the lam, Dog started his search for the fugitive in July but faced a significant hurdle — Virginia law enforcement authorities supposedly waited 13 days after his indictment before entering his name in the National Crime Information Center database. According to Dog, this meant Chujoy was ahead of him by about a month; not helping matters was the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic was forcing people to wear masks, thus making it harder for the bounty hunter to spot his targets.

As related by Our Community Now, Dog was forced to rely on tips from Albemarle County, Virginia, locals. And since many people were familiar with the suspected drug dealer and his activities, it took only three days before Chujoy, apparently feeling the heat, turned himself in. He was then incarcerated at the Middle River Regional Jail, where he was held without bond.