Bullets star detained for smuggling dog to Australia
NEW Brisbane Bullets import Lamar Patterson's first week in Queensland has gone to the dogs, after he was detained by Customs officials for having his french bulldog in his hand luggage.
In scenes reminiscent of the Johnny Depp Pistol and Boo saga, Patterson, 27, flew in to Brisbane yesterday with Qantas from the US with his dog Kobe in his carry-on bag and was stopped at customs.
Patterson was eventually released but the dog remained in quarantine last night and is expected to be sent back to the US today.
It is understood he travelled with his dog within the US and made inquiries about bringing it to Australia, with the dog added to his ticket.
It is believed he took an internal flight with American Airlines, which allows pets on board, before connecting to a late Qantas flight from Los Angeles to Brisbane, during which the dog went undetected by cabin crew.
Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis said last night the club had to accept some responsibility for Patterson breaking quarantine laws and should have informed him about Australia's strict laws.
"I guess in his defence, we should take some responsibility. That's one of the things that obviously we need to communicate in future,'' Lemanis said.
"When he got to the airport, he asked if he could take his dog and the response was 'yes' and it was even on his boarding pass that he was travelling with his dog.
"Obviously there was some confusion. They probably thought he only meant domestically and when he got to LAX no one said anything to him, he went through security. Somehow he got it on the plane."
Qantas would not confirm the incident, but a spokesman said only assistance dogs such as guide dogs were allowed in the cabin.
Kobe features heavily on Patterson's Instagram account, with one picture appearing to show the dog on a plane to Italy in carry-on.
In 2015, Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard brought dogs Pistol and Boo to Queensland on a private jet without the proper paperwork, and then agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce threatened to have them euthanised.
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