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 to keep away from little one pornography prices.

A tip from outdoors 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 stated Monday throughout a information convention.

“Basically, the plan comes right down to this,” Sheriff Flowers stated. “These people which can be on the skin are going to attend till Manchec has a health care provider’s go to, and they’ll take out our corrections employees whereas he’s out on the medical facility.”

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

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

Manchec was arrested in 2014 on 49 little one pornography prices. Flowers stated he left the nation to keep away from prosecution after posting a virtually $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 go away jail in January, saying he suffered from power medical circumstances, and since he broke his hip and wrist late final yr, the sheriff stated. The request was denied.

The escape plot centered on an April 12 medical appointment, Flowers stated. However at the least one of many individuals concerned tipped off legislation enforcement, permitting investigators to unravel the plot.

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

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

Flowers stated the plan was to go “again to his fortress in France” and by no means should face the fees.

Manchec stays within the Indian River County Jail, with extra prices associated to the escape. Two inmates and two staff have been additionally arrested and charged with conspiracy within the escape plot. A lawyer listed on Manchec’s courtroom data didn’t instantly return an electronic mail looking for touch upon the brand new prices.

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