Three Haitian-born brothers from Delray Beach, Florida, decided to visit the Dominican Republic last year to reunite with relatives on the island but ended up being taken into police custody and restricted from returning to the United States. According to the Miami Herald, Lonelson Nalus, John Nalus, 21, and Lovinsky Nalus, 27, claim that the situation was a setup, with a four-pound package of marijuana being placed on their rental car prior to their arrest.
One of the Nalus brothers is a U.S. citizen, while the other two are considered permanent residents in America. According to the Miami Herald, the three brothers have tried to reach out to the Biden administration but haven’t received any hopeful news.
They were all arrested in August 2020 after they alleged that the marijuana package was planted on their rented white Hyundai Tuscon. A recorded cellphone video was also sent to the Florida news outlet, allegedly showing someone placing a marijuana package under the car.
Lonelson, 25, told the publication that officers placed guns to their heads and asked if they had any money after being taken into custody, saying, “When we went to court, the judge just said we have three months to come back to court. We said, ‘What?’” ”
That’s when I called the embassy and circulated the video,” Lonelson continued. “We’ve never been in that situation before, dealing with the police, getting arrested. We were crying,”
Three brothers from Delray Beach, FL are stuck in the Dominican Republic, accused of a crime they are adamant they did not commit. It’s been seven months and prosecutors have yet to present any evidence.
— Jay O’Brien (@jayobtv) February 25, 2021
They were later released from jail, but prohibited from leaving the Dominican Republic. The Miami Herald reported that the Nalus brothers, who’ve claimed to have lost jobs over their absence, have had a total of three scheduled hearings since their August arrest that didn’t follow through due to the prosecutor failing to show.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family, asking for donations to help with lawyer fees. They are under $2,000 short of their goal of $30,000.