A multi-millionaire’s elaborate prison escape plan was foiled by authorities after a two-month investigation.
John Manchec’s plan involved some of his employees and inmates he had befriended since his incarceration in Florida on charges related to child abuse images.
Explaining the plan, Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said Manchec was going to use a doctor’s visit to walk out of jail while his accomplices pepper-sprayed prison guards.
He would then be taken on his private plane to nearby Fort Pierce so he could fly to France, where he also has citizenship.
Manchec has escaped to France once before – after his arrest in 2014 on 49 charges, he left the US after posting nearly $500,000 (£402,000) bail, retreating to its medieval estate, Château Pechrigal.
France refused to extradite him but he was eventually arrested in the Dominican Republic in 2020 and imprisoned in Florida.
Sheriff Flowers said Manchec had a medical appointment booked for April, but someone who knew about his escape plan told authorities, prompting an investigation.
Sheriff Flowers said the plan also included Manchec’s 140ft yacht and various vehicles, as well as paying bail for a cellmate who lived in his home and helped make arrangements, including the packing a suitcase and buying alcohol.
“It was the real deal,” Sheriff Flowers said.
Manchec remains in the Indian River County Jail, only now with additional charges related to the escape plan.
Two inmates and two of its employees were also charged with conspiracy in connection with the plan.