White Boy Rick to be set free today after spending entire adult life in prison for selling drugs

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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.

After spending his entire adult life behind bars, Richard “White Boy Rick” Wershe Jr. is scheduled to be set free Monday, two days after his 51st birthday.

Wershe Jr. will return to metro Detroit, where he grew up too fast, working as a federal informant and slinging bags of cocaine as a teenager.



He’ll be on parole until Aug. 22, 2021. During that time, he’ll be prohibited from leaving the state and possessing drugs, alcohol, or weapons.

“He’s anxious to get home,” said Wershe’s attorney, Ralph Musilli, told WDIV-4. “His head is in a good place. He has a good support group here and he is finally ready get back into the real world.”



Wershe was sentenced to life in prison for selling cocaine in 1988, when the war on drugs was cruel and unforgiving. As attitudes toward drugs evolved, Wershe was paroled from a Michigan prison in 2017. Instead of being set free, Wershe was sent to a Florida prison to serve time for a 2006 conviction for his role in a car theft ring while locked up in Michigan.

Wershe’s story was dramatized in a 2018 film starring Matthew McConaughey.

At 14, the youngest FBI informant ever, Wershe helped bring down a cocaine trafficking ring. But after the FBI didn't need him anymore, Wershe stayed in the drug world and was eventually busted selling cocaine himself at the age of 17. He's been in custody ever since.

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