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Johnny Depp's wife Amber Heard avoids jail time in dog smuggling case

In this image made from video released by

In this image made from video released by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on Monday, April 18, 2016, actor Johnny Depp and his wife, Amber Heard speak in a videotaped apology. Photo Credit: Australian Government via AP Video

Ending what the local media dubbed the “war on terrier,” actress Amber Heard pleaded guilty Monday to having brought her and husband Johnny Depp’s two dogs to Australia surreptitiously last year. The couple also recorded a video urging visitors to respect the island nation’s biosecurity laws.

A Southport, Queensland, court on Monday levied a $1,000 good-behavior bond on Heard on a charge of falsifying an immigration card. No conviction will be recorded if Heard goes 30 days without incident. Two illegal importation charges were dropped.

Like many countries, Australia has quarantine rules in place to help protect native plants and animals.

Heard and Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo had arrived by private jet on April 21, 2015, while Depp was shooting the fifth film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. The actress “positively believed the relevant documentation had been provided to the relevant authorities” by Depp’s assistants, her lawyer told the court. Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan said she believed Heard “did not set out to deliberately deceive the Australian authorities; I also accept she is not a person who thinks she is above the law.”

Depp, 52, and Heard, who turns 30 on Friday, attended the proceedings, during which they gave the court a video made the day before in an arrangement between the actors’ representatives and Australia’s Department of Agriculture. While the video was not a requirement of the court, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told Australian media, “I don’t think it would have been something they would have willingly wanted to do.”

In the roughly 40-second recording, Heard apologizes for not declaring the dogs and says, “Australia is free of many pests and diseases that are commonplace around the world. That is why Australia has to have such strong biosecurity laws.” 

Depp calls Australians “unique, both warm and direct. When you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly,” and advises visitors, “Declare everything when you enter Australia.”
Joyce anticipated it would be used as an in-flight announcement on commercial airlines.

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