Broward Sheriff's Office: Public Information Office

PIO Number: 23-3-46

Date: March 31, 2023

The Broward Sheriff’s Office Strategic Investigations Division (SID), in coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, arrested three men and one woman on charges deriving proceeds from prostitution and money laundering in a multi-year online escort investigation. 

In October of 2021, detectives with BSO’s SID began investigating a number of websites operating in or from Broward County advertising female escorts. During the investigation, detectives partnered with Homeland Security Investigations and obtained information that led them to three websites, Platinum Pleasures, So Sexy Escorts, and Queen of Hearts, believed to be engaged in criminal activities related to prostitution.  

The case was then presented to the Statewide Prosecutor’s Office, which accepted the criminal investigation. Since then, SID detectives have worked tirelessly to build a criminal case against the website’s operators. 

Using various investigative techniques, SID detectives identified brothers Justo and Jack Fernandez as the operators of Platinum Pleasures, Marcelo Arbelo as the operator of So Sexy Escort, and Yaydelin Battle as the operator of Queen of Hearts. The investigation also revealed that the females advertised on each website were based at multiple hotels in either Broward or Miami-Dade counties. Detectives also learned Battle had moved from Miami to Osceola County but continued committing criminal activities in Broward County.
On Monday, March 27, SID detectives began making arrests in the case. 

The Fernandez brothers were arrested by SID investigators on Monday in the cities of Hollywood and Pembroke Pines. Two separate search warrants were executed at each of the suspect’s residence as well. One was completed with the tactical assistance of the Hollywood Police Department, and the other was executed by Pembroke Pines Police Department. 

Arbelo was arrested by SID investigators on Tuesday, March 28, in Plantation. Doral Police Department was also on scene to investigate charges of their own, which Arbelo was arrested for as well. In addition, a search warrant for Arbelo’s home was also executed by BSO SID investigators with the tactical assistance of the Plantation Police Department. 

On Thursday, March 30, Battle was arrested in Osceola County by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) SWAT team. OCSO also executed a search warrant on Battle’s home on behalf of BSO. Battle is expected to be extradited to Broward County in the coming days.

All four suspects face deriving proceeds from prostitution and money laundering charges; however, Arbelo faces additional charges related to sexual battery and human trafficking in the Doral case. For more information regarding those charges, please contact the Doral Police Department directly.

The arrest of these individuals could not have been possible without the assistance of multiple law enforcement agencies.

Gerdy St. Louis/PIO