A French millionaire businessman who was in jail created an elaborate plan to escape jail, but authorities stopped it.
Indian River County, FL: During a press briefing on Monday, Sheriff Eric Flowers of Indian River County revealed that law enforcement authorities successfully thwarted the intricate escape plan devised by an elderly entrepreneur, John Manchec, to flee a detention facility in Florida. Manchec, aged 78, had been desperately seeking to make his way back to France, where he had previously sought refuge in an ill-conceived mission to avoid facing numerous sexually-related charges, including possession of child pornography.
Manchec posted a $500,000 bond after his arrest in 2014 but later fled back to France to his medieval estate, the Chateau Pechrigal. Since then French government officials refused to extradite Manchec. He holds dual citizenship in France and the United States.
It wasn’t until 2020 where Manchec visited the Dominican Republic but was arrested there and flown back to Florida to face the original 2014 charges of 49 counts of possessing child pornography. No information was available as to the purpose of Manchec’s visit to the Dominican Republic.
Escape Tip Received
The plan fell apart after a valuable tip originating from an external source, a meticulous two-month-long investigation was initiated to delve into the activities of Manchec and the individuals he had recruited to aid him in his well-coordinated escape plan, Sheriff Flowers told the media.
Sheriff Flowers also said to the press, “Essentially, the plan comes down to this. These folks that are on the outside are going to wait until Manchec has a doctor’s visit, and they are going to take out our corrections staff while he’s out at the medical facility.”
Many correctional facilities have limited medical services and often contract some appointments and procedures to outside civilian medical facilities. Manchec was expected to have an outside April 12th medical appointment. According to authorities, the reported plan was to ambush the escorting correctional officers using pepper spray and then forcibly take custody of Manchec. Those involved in the heist were then planning to take Manchec to a nearby tarmac where he would board a private plane and fly back to France.
Manchec also purchased several vehicles and a 140-foot yacht as part of the escape plan. Manchec even paid for the bail of a former cellmate to bring him back to France with him.
Sheriff Speaks of the Escape Plot
“The fact of the matter is he [Manchec] is trying to escape our jail to not face these charges. He’s going to have to own up to it and face these charges,” Sheriff Flowers told the press. “Our team did an incredible job and I’m proud of everyone involved in this.”
Sheriff Flowers also told the press that everyone involved in the escape plot spoke of it regularly and openly, to their demise.
“These guys weren’t quiet about this and they were talking to other people. And other people got word and word got back to us and we started looking into his communications,” Sheriff Flowers said.
Investigators later reported that part of Manchec’s communication to plan and execute the escape included the code word “paint job” to reference the escape.
Manchec is back in Indian River County Jail where he awaits his original charges of child pornography possession as well as additional escape plan charges. Several other people involved in the plot also face charges, civilians and inmates among them.
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