DETROIT – Richard Wershe Jr. is suing FBI agents, Detroit police and others a year after he was released from prison.
Wershe, formerly known as “White Boy Rick”, was released from a Florida jail in July 2020 and ended his 32 years behind bars, starting after a drug deal as a 17-year-old in 1987. He became the longest-serving nonviolent juvenile delinquent in Michigan history.
Now he is suing the people he believes are responsible for imprisoning him and accusing them of child abuse.
“After working undercover for the FBI and Detroit Police, which started as a child at the age of 14, Wershe is the youngest FBI informant in this nation’s history,” reads a statement from attorneys representing Wershe in Ayad Law, PLLC. . “The government used Wershe as a child from 14 to 16 yearsand put him among gangsters, murderers, drug dealers and threw him into the world of drug trafficking, and then everyone turned to him to hide the illegal and embarrassing nature of their behavior. ”
The case is being brought before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District. The lawsuit seeks $ 100 million in damages, alleging that Wershe was forced to help police while he was an unsuspecting teenager.
Wershe, now 52, returned to Michigan after being released from a Florida jail on July 20, 2020. He has kept a low profile since his release, but spoke at a Tuesday news conference.
“Listen, the judiciary has not been fair to me for the last 33 years. I now hope this is the last book where I can close this chapter, continue with my life. But I think this should be done. I think the truth definitely needed to be told. I think the people who did this to me should be held accountable, ”he said. “I do not blame the people who have the office now. I’m not blaming the US law firm that’s here now. I blame the people of the past, the people who did it to me – the retired FBI agents, the retired (Detroit Police Department) officials, the retired American lawyer who released my testimony on the jury. ”
Read back: ‘White Boy Rick’ Wershe breaks silence after jail
How Wershe ended up behind lock and key for so long
In 1988, Wershe was sentenced to life in prison in Michigan under the state’s “650-Life Act,” a drug law that punished those found in possession of more than 650 grams of cocaine or heroin, with a harsh sentence of life in prison. without probation.
Wershe received his parole in 2017 after nearly 30 years in prison. He was released from the Oaks Correctional Facility in Michigan in April 2017 and surrendered to the US Marshals.
He was then transferred to a Florida jail for a crime he committed while sitting behind bars in Michigan. Wershe pleaded guilty in 2006 to involvement in a car theft.
Why did Wershe owe time in Florida?
While in a Michigan jail, Wershe introduced his sister, Dawn, to a car salesman. It turned into a stolen car ring, and Wershe pleaded guilty to protecting his sister and mother from criminal charges.
“They said, ‘Look, this is what we have to do. If you do not take this plea, we must arrest your mother and sister, ”said Wershe. “It was a forced plea. I do not agree that I committed the crime for which I was convicted. ”
When he was released from prison in Michigan in 2017, Wershe walked out of jail and straight into a prison carriage. Wershe’s lawyer argued that vans are dangerous and inhumane since Wershe had traveled to Florida with a prison car once before.
“It’s hell on wheels,” Wershe said. “I was on one for a week and it’s the most traumatic part of almost 30 years in prison.”
Although he feared the transportation process, Wershe said he wanted to start as soon as possible. He looked forward to taking another step towards his final release.
Detroit historian: ‘White Boy Rick’ Wershe jail released ‘too late’
Detroit-based organized crime historian and true crime writer Scott Burnstein said the end of Wershe’s decades-long sentence is “far too late.”
“Today is a great day for truth, a great day for justice, a great day for justification,” Burnstein said when Wershe was released in July 2020.
The author and historian has kept in touch with Wershe over the years and has studied his case thoroughly. Burstein even served as a consultant for the “White Boy Rick” movie.
The true crime writer believes Wershe was imprisoned for an unfair period, especially given the fact that he was being groomed by the government at such an early age.
Contrary to popular belief, Rick was not brought down on a kingpin statute, … racketeering, … (or) a perpetual criminal law – Rick was arrested when he was 17 years old at a routine traffic stop, where they found cocaine, ”Burnstein said. “Under the law at the time, it was going to cost him the rest of his life, which is just ridiculous.”
Read more here.
In September 2018, Local 4 shared a special documentary on the life of Wershe, the now infamous figure in Detroit’s drug scene in the 1980s. Watch the full documentary here to learn the story of “White Boy Rick.”
Related: ‘White Boy’ Rick Wershe Jr. denied kindness in Florida
‘White Boy Rick’ Hollywood movies
A movie based on his life titled “White Boy Rick” was released on September 14, 2018. Matthew McConaughey starred as Richard’s father, Richard Wershe Sr.
Watch: White Boy Rick weighs in on movies
More: Former Detroit hitman wants ‘White Boy Rick’ to be released from prison
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