Australia takes its quarantine laws very seriously.
So seriously, in fact, that Johnny Depp's decision to illegally bring his dogs into the country may result in the actor having to pay a fine or face lengthy jail time. An Australian Senate committee was told on Monday that if the matter goes to court and the 51-year-old actor is found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison or a maximum fine of $265,000.
Depp, who had been filming "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" in Queensland, injured his hand in March and flew back to the U.S. to undergo surgery. When he returned in April via a private jet, Depp did not declare his Yorkshire Terriers, Boo and Pistol, breaking the country's strict quarantine laws.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, an ongoing investigation found that Depp, his fellow passengers and the flight crew didn't declare the dogs' presence, and the animals were only discovered after the Yorkshire Terriers were taken to a local groomer and photos were posted on social media. Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture, then threatened to have the Yorkies euthanized unless they were flown out of the country within 50 hours.
Depp complied with the minister's request, and the dogs flew to California.
"There is a process if you want to bring animals: you get the permits, they go into quarantine and then you can have them," Joyce explained during an interview with Australia's ABC radio late last month. "But if we start letting movie stars--even though they've been the Sexiest Man Alive twice--to come into our nation [and break the laws], then why don't we just break the laws for everybody?"
Unfortunately for Depp, it seems unlikely that the case will disappear. "This matter is ongoing, as the police would tell you," immigration minister Peter Dutton said during an Australian radio interview May 21. "It's being investigated; handbags are being searched. No rock or backpack is being left unturned."
Depp, meanwhile, has yet to comment on the investigation.
On Monday, he and his wife, Amber Heard, flew out of Australia on a private jet and were photographed deplaning in L.A.