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Florida sheriff's office stops inmate's complex escape plan involving jet and castle in France

Indian River County, Florida, law enforcement officials foiled a jail inmate’s complex escape plan involving four associates, a plane and a castle in France.

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release it was warned that an inmate at the county jail, John Manchec, 78, was working up a plan to escape custody.

Manchec, who was arrested on Dec. 18, 2014, and charged with 49 counts of possessing child pornography posted bond five days after his arrest and fled to the Dominican Republic to avoid prosecution.

After being tracked down, Manchec was re-arrested and extradited back to the United States, where he has remained in custody at the Indian River County Jail.

Bashton and Kristen Maso De Moya, also listed as a co-conspirator, are also employees at Aero Shade, according to police.

According to the sheriff’s office, Manchec planned to put his escape plan into action with a scheduled doctor’s appointment. Once he was on his way out of the jail, Shepherd was allegedly going to notify Harvey.

The co-conspirators’ plan included intercepting the transport vehicle as it arrived at the medical facility, with Harvey and another person assaulting the corrections department deputies, freeing Manchec and fleeing to an undisclosed location.

Investigators said Manchec is a multi-millionaire with dual citizenship in France and the U.S. and loads of resources. Police said he has a private plane at Fort Pierce Regional Airport in St. Lucie County, the castle and a 140-foot yacht.

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Castle and John Manchec's co-conspirators

John Manchec allegedly conspired with Byron Harvey, upper left, Ben Bashton, upper right, Kerry Shephard, lower left, and Kristen Maso De Moya to escape from jail in Florida, ultimately fleeing to his castle in France. (Indian River County Sheriff’s Office)

Investigators allege that he not only intended to use the assets to help facilitate his escape, but also to finance it.

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Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said others may be involved in the plot and the investigation is ongoing.

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