The search for a fugitive in Jackson county has taken on a celebrity status. Famed bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife, Beth, have been authorized to work for a bail bond company in the hunt for convicted racketeer Ricky Wheeldon. Mason-based Leo’s Bail Bonds and its insurance company will have to pay Jackson County $500,000 if Wheeldon is not apprehended by today (Wednesday). The 53-year old Wheeldon was free on bond when he failed to return from a lunch break on May 1 during the seventh day of his trial on charges of profiting from the acquisition of large amounts of stolen property, for which he would pay people in drugs and money. In his absence, jurors found him guilty of nine felonies, including the conducting of a criminal enterprise. The exploits of the long-haired Chapman were featured on the A&E reality TV show “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” which was canceled this year. A new show is to air next year on CMT.