back to top

Amber Heard Could Face Jail Time For Smuggling Johnny Depp's Dogs Into Australia

Johnny Depp's wife has been charged with two counts of illegal importation and one count of producing a false document.

Posted on

Actress Amber Heard has been summoned to appear at a Queensland court in September, charged with smuggling her two dogs into Australia in May.

Michel Porro / Getty Images

The Magic Mike XXL star and owner of terriers Boo and Pistol has been charged under the Australian Quarantine Act.

She faces two counts of illegal importation of an animal (one for each dog) and one count of producing a false document.

It's alleged 29-year-old Heard did not follow correct quarantine procedures when the couple flew in to Queensland, where Depp is filming the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film.

In June, Heard told the Sunrise breakfast program that she would avoid visiting Australia in the future.

“I have a feeling we’re going to avoid the land down under from now on, just as much as we can, thanks to certain politicians there,” she said.

If found guilty, Heard could face up to ten years in prison, or have to pay fines of up to $300,000 AUD.

Leon Neal / Getty Images

The summons was issued by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on July 14, according to a statement from the Department of Agriculture.

"The CDPP's action follows an incident where a biosecurity officer attended a Gold Coast property in April and found two dogs alleged to be illegally imported.

"All animals entering Australia must have an import permit, and have undergone relevant testing and health checks signed off by a government veterinarian from the exporting country to ensure pests and diseases from overseas are not brought here."

At the time, Australian agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce made international headlines when he told the dogs to "bugger off back to the United States" and threatened to euthanise them if they stayed.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

They were flown out on a private jet 48 hours later.

Speaking in Perth on Thursday, Barnaby Joyce said he wasn't concerned that the legal action would make the Australian government appear mean.

“No, it’s not. The law is the same for everybody. There is no preferential treatment here," he said.

Warning of the dangers of a rabies outbreak, Joyce said, “It’s not just the people on the streets that would be affected, if that got out into the general wild dog population in Australia, which is massive, it would have devastating effects."

In an interview with ET in June, Heard confirmed her dogs were happy and safe on American soil.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

"Despite attempts by rogue thug Australian government officials, they are alright," she said.

"My little Yorkies are with me, they're fine... I bring Pistol everywhere I go."

It's yet to be seen whether Pistol will accompany Amber Heard on her trip to Southport Magistrates Court on September 7.

instagram.com

Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Alex Lee at alexandra.lee@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

Promoted