Johnny Depp dogged by Aussie pet-smuggling case, could face 10-year lockup
Johnny Depp still seems to be dogged by his “very serious” quarantine case in Australia despite sending his pups back to the U.S. after a customs flap this month.
Yes, it appears that the #WarOnTerrier may be far from over.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, who is Down Under filming the fifth installment of the swashbuckling franchise, could face up to a decade in prison and a hefty triple-digit fine if he’s convicted of smuggling his Yorkshire Terriers, Pistol and Boo, into the country, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Nearly two weeks ago, Australia’s Minister of Agriculture Barnaby Joyce publicly lambasted Depp and accused him of flying the toy dogs into Queensland on his private jet in April — that’s when the film star returned to the country after having surgery on his hand.
“If we start letting movie stars, even if they’ve been ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ twice, to come into our nation then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody,” Joyce said at the time. “It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States. After that I don’t expect to be invited to the opening of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’”
Depp, 52, and his wife, Amber Heard, were accused of smuggling the dogs when they didn’t declare them on their customs forms or provide proper documentation for the pets. Joyce threatened to euthanize the terriers if Depp didn’t send them back to the U.S. within 72 hours, which Depp ultimately did with a bit of time to spare.
The country has the laws in place to prevent the spread of disease, and pets usually face 10 days in quarantine when they first arrive.
The “Mortdecai” star could face 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $263,296 ($340,000 Australian dollars) if the case goes to court, according to a Senate committee hearing in Canberra on Tuesday.
The investigation found that Depp, the flight crew and the private plane’s passengers didn’t declare the presence of the dogs and customs officers didn’t find the terriers when they boarded the plane before the passengers got off, the newspaper said.
The dogs were discovered only after the newlyweds took them to a local groomer and the establishment posted about their patronage on Facebook.
Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.
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