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Why Ivan 'Dutch' Hernandez From Law & Order: SVU Looks So Familiar

When we first meet Ivan 'Dutch' Hernandez in Season 24, Episode 14 ("Dutch Tears") of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," he has broken into Sergeant Odafin 'Fin' Tutuola's (Ice-T) home and is waiting in the dark for him to return home. Dutch is jittery and wide-eyed, making us feel anxious for Fin's life. As Dutch begins spilling the truth, that he was raped in his holding cell after the CO on duty gave another inmate a key, we feel empathy and compassion for him and are relieved when Fin decides to help him.

"Without giving too much away, Finn basically used to be a narcotics cop before he got to SVU," Ice-T told Entertainment Tonight about the episode. "Well, he gets the award one night, comes home, and this guy is sitting in his house and he has a gun on him. He says, 'You put me in jail for 20 years.'" 

Richard Cabral does an amazing job playing the anxious and traumatized Dutch, portraying the different emotions and stress that a victim of sexual assault would feel upon coming forward and trying to identify their perpetrator. The Emmy-nominated producer, writer, and actor likely looks familiar to audiences, as he's become sought after for his talents in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Richard Cabral's first credited role was in Southland

Richard Cabral's first credited role was on "Southland," playing two different roles before being cast as Leprechaun for three episodes. Leprechaun is a gang member who killed Detective Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro). Moretta's partner, Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy), later seeks revenge on Leprechaun for his death. Sammy kidnaps him and makes him dig his own grave, but chickens out and lets him go. In the Season 3 finale, Leprechaun is shot and killed after shooting another officer, and Sammy repeats Nate's name over and over to him as he dies.

Growing up, becoming an actor was not on Cabral's radar. Jailed for the first time at age 13 for stealing, he followed in the footsteps of other family members, joining a gang and doing drugs. "The lifestyle that I grew up in, it was passed onto me," he told The Wrap. "I didn't know there was another world. My family had been incarcerated, I mean in gangs and going to jail, since the 1970s." After serving five years in prison for attempted murder, he credited Father Greg and his charity, Homeboy Industries, for giving him a second chance.

Working at the Homeboy bakery during the day, he'd go to auditions after work. "I remember my first thing was 'CSI: Miami,'" he told NPR. "I played a Cuban gangster. And that was it. I was like: Wow, I don't have to clean toilets. I could actually dress up and get paid equivalent to that. So that was my introduction into the Hollywood industry."

He played Demon in End of Watch

In 2012, Richard Cabral was cast in "End of Watch" as Demon, one of the four gang members assigned by the Sinaloa Cartel to kill officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miguel 'Mike Z' Zavala (Michael Peña). Demon has less experience than the other three, but he is praised by Big Evil (Maurice Compte) when he successfully kills someone. Cabral doesn't say as much as the others, but he doesn't have to — his facial expressions convey so much. "This is the first time, I believe, in film, that we had seen more to the characters, more layers to the characters of 'End of Watch' and it was just dope, from beginning to end," Cabral told Pocos Pero Locos. "Some people consider that one of the best cop movies to this day."

David Ayer wrote the film about the two officers that are assigned to patrol South-Central Los Angeles, an area of the city the writer and director is familiar with, having lived in the neighborhood as a teenager. "I'm comfortable there," he told the Los Angeles Times. "It's like my living room." His experiences living there provided the basis for not only "End of Watch," but several of his other films, including "Training Day" and "Harsh Times."

He co-starred in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

In 2014, Richard Cabral got the role of Arturo Lopez in "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones," the fourth sequel in the "Paranormal Activity" franchise. The horror film centers around Jesse Arista (Andrew Jacobs), who has apparently been marked by a demon. Ali Rey (Molly Ephraim) from "Paranormal Activity 3" tells Jesse and his friends that the Midwives witch coven is responsible for Jesse becoming possessed, as they're trying to create an army of demonic young men. Arturo is the brother of Oscar (Carlos Pratts), one of Jesse's classmates who has also become possessed.

After Jesse goes missing, Arturo tries to help his friends find him. Somehow they end up at Grandma Lois's (Hallie Foote) farm, the Midwives coven witch that originally made the deal with the demon. Slowly everyone disappears, and we have no idea if Arturo lives or dies. 

The fact that Latinos make up the majority of the cast of "The Marked Ones" is not lost on Cabral. "This is the first time in history that Latinos have done it and made the studios this amount of money and signed to a franchise," he told LatinoBuzz. "We're making money for the studios and we're bringing the noise, and there's no stopping it."

He earned an Emmy nomination for his role in American Crime

2015 was a good year for Richard Cabral. After playing Hector Tontz in Season 1 of "American Crime," he was nominated for an Emmy award for his performance. The role hit close to home for Cabral, and he was glad he was able to show the humanity of Tonz to audiences. "This is not like, 'Oh, yeah, I lived it, so I got this,'" he told NPR. "No, man, it was a sacrifice, and I really had to go to a deep, dark place. But I'm honored that I showed that other side."

Season 1 of "American Crime" begins with a murder and robbery, and when Hector Tontz is flagged for using the credit card of the victim and driving the car seen at the site of the murder, he's arrested in connection with the drug-related crime. It turns out that he fled a murder charge in Mexico, and is forced to go back and stand trial. After a long and arduous process, the sole witness doesn't show up in court, and he's let free. Allowed to start his life anew with his girlfriend, he's one of the few who has a happy ending at the finale. 

Cabral would go on to star in Seasons 2 and 3 of the series, but as different characters in each appearance.

Cabral played fan-favorite Coco on Mayans MC

Richard Cabral took on his most popular and well-known role in 2018, playing Johnny 'Coco' Cruz on the "Sons of Anarchy" spin-off, "Mayans MC." A Marine veteran and noted marksman, he's also a member of the Mayans Motorcycle Club. Coco has no qualms about murdering those who get in the way of him and his drug business, which he proves time and again.

Coco's daughter is Leticia Letty' Cruz (Emily Tosta), who was adopted by Coco's mom, Celia (Ada Luz Pla). Letty discovers Coco is really her dad and not big brother during an argument with Celia. Eventually, Coco and Letty work on repairing their relationship as father and daughter. Unfortunately, Coco eventually begins getting addicted to the heroin he's been distributing and spirals completely out of control.

To show the extent drugs were taking over Coco's life, Cabral lost 30 pounds. The effect was profound on the already-thin Cabral, who now looked emaciated. "I think that [the weight loss] is what really took everything to the next level, right," he told LMR Online. "Because once it's in your body, there's no more pretending. You get me for five to six months, I was hungry. That's just the reality of it, but it worked for Coco. Because when you see Coco going through what he's going through, a part of that is his body sacrificing."

"Mayans MC" announced it's ending its run with the upcoming fifth season, but sadly Cabral won't be a part of the show's ending, as Coco was killed in Season 4.