Escape Plot! Manhattan Detention Center Inmate Ernest Murphy Almost Pulls A New York Prison Break

An escape plot at the Manhattan Detention Center almost led to another New York prison break.

Inmate Ernest Murphy managed to gather 64 bed sheets in order to create a rope which would allow him to shimmy down from the 11th floor all the way to the streets of NYC.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, the other missing New York prison inmates are still being searched for as of this publishing. Reports say David Sweat and Richard Matt pulled off a Shawshank-style prison break, and they were so smug about it that they left a note for investigators.

So, how exactly did Ernest Murphy plan on pulling off this escape plot? Manhattan Detention Center officials say they broke up a smuggling ring inside the NYC prison only to discovered the makeshift rope hidden under a sink within the inmate’s cell. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the discovery came after a month-long investigation which included wiretaps and an undercover officer posing as an inmate.

“We have all witnessed in recent weeks the serious consequences that can result when contraband is smuggled inside prison walls,” Vance said, referring to the other infamous New York prison escape.

City correction officer Patricia Howard was arrested for taking part in the prison smuggling ring, and she was caught holding a bag of contraband that included drugs, lighters and flashlights and $800. According to the Associated Press, they even found a note from a Manhattan Detention Center telling Howard that they were thankful for her supporting the “jail shopping network.”

The search of prison cells turned up a blade, a pen with a sharpened tip, marijuana and a scale for weighing drugs, although the rope made out of 64 bed sheets was apparently the biggest item discovered during the search. When the rope was stretched out across a gymnasium it covered the floor four times.

Speaking about the escape plot, Manhattan Detention Center investigator Mark Peters said they were glad Ernest Murphy was caught in time.

“Thankfully, it was discovered before he had an opportunity to test his skills at making a getaway,” Peters said, according to DNAinfo. “And so the city was spared the potential spectacle of joining the state for the past two weeks in a manhunt for escaped inmates. We know that it was a potentially viable plan. He did not make any confessions, but honestly, there’s no other conceivable (reason) for keeping that many bed sheets together like that other than for an escape.”

[Image via Phil Penman]