'White Boy Rick' may finally be a free man sooner than expected


Richard Wershe Jr.'s mugshot circa 1987, left, and circa 2012, right. - MICHIGAN DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
  • Michigan Dept. of Corrections
  • Richard Wershe Jr.'s mugshot circa 1987, left, and circa 2012, right.

Notorious teenage drug hustler and FBI informant Richard “White Boy Rick” Wershe Jr. may be a free man sooner than expected after spending more than three decades in prison on drug charges.

Wershe, 50, is now scheduled to be released from a Florida prison on Aug. 17, more than eight months earlier than his initial release date, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

Wershe was recently moved from Putnam Correctional Institution in East Palatka, Fla., to the Transition House of Kissimmee, a Florida prison that works with nonviolent offenders, according to the state's DOC.

Wershe, who was the subject of a movie called White Boy Rick, was just 17 when he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for possessing more than 650 grams of cocaine.

Wershe was Michigan’s longest serving nonviolent juvenile offender when he was paroled in 2017. But he never got a taste of freedom and was sent to a Florida prison following a 2006 conviction involving a car theft ring.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.