June 4, 2023

By Freida Frisaro | Related Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Authorities say they’ve foiled an aged businessman’s plan to flee a Florida jail and return to France the place he had beforehand fled in an try and keep away from youngster pornography fees.

A tip from exterior the jail sparked a two-month investigation of John Manchec, 78, and folks he had enlisted in his escape plan, Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers mentioned Monday throughout a information convention.

“Primarily, the plan comes right down to this,” Sheriff Flowers mentioned. “These of us which can be on the skin are going to attend till Manchec has a physician’s go to, and they’ll take out our corrections employees whereas he’s out on the medical facility.”

The plan known as for Manchec’s staff to pepper-spray jail guards and take him to his personal aircraft in close by Fort Pierce, in order that he may fly to France, Flowers mentioned.

File photograph: This photograph supplied by Indian River County Sheriff’s Workplace reveals John Manchec.

Manchec is a multimillionaire with twin U.S. and French citizenship, Flowers mentioned.

Manchec was arrested in 2014 on 49 youngster pornography fees. Flowers mentioned he left the nation to keep away from prosecution after posting an almost $500,000 bond, and moved to his medieval property in southern France, the Chateau Pechrigal.

France denied U.S. makes an attempt to extradite him, however he was ultimately arrested within the Dominican Republic in 2020, and returned to Florida, in keeping with the sheriff.

Manchec requested permission to depart jail in January, saying he suffered from continual medical circumstances, and since he broke his hip and wrist late final 12 months, the sheriff mentioned. The request was denied.

The escape plot centered on an April 12 medical appointment, Flowers mentioned. However a minimum of one of many folks concerned tipped off legislation enforcement, permitting investigators to unravel the plot.

An examination of Manchec’s jail cellphone information found he used the code phrases “paint job” whereas speaking together with his staff concerning the plot.

They had been to arrange his aircraft, his 140-foot (42-meter) yacht, a black utility van and different autos bought only for the escape try, Flowers mentioned. Manchec even paid the bail for a cellmate, after which allowed them to stay in his residence. That individual helped put together for the escape, right down to packing a suitcase, and his favourite liquor, the sheriff mentioned.

Flowers mentioned the plan was to go “again to his fort in France” and by no means need to face the fees.

Manchec stays within the Indian River County Jail, with further fees associated to the escape. Two inmates and two staff had been additionally arrested and charged with conspiracy within the escape plot. A lawyer listed on Manchec’s court docket information didn’t instantly return an e mail looking for touch upon the brand new fees.

Manchec was initially arrested in December 2014, following a toddler pornography investigation by the Florida Division of Legislation Enforcement.