A notorious FBI informant who was the subject of a 2018 feature film may be released sooner than he anticipated.
Richard Wershe Jr., often known by his nickname, "White Boy Rick," is set to be freed from prison on Nov. 25, 2020, according to an updated Florida Department of Corrections Inmate Population Detail page. The date had recently been moved from April 20, 2021.
Florida Department of Corrections press secretary Patrick Manderfield explained the change.
“His original release date was 4/20/2021, but it was recently updated to reflect the amount of gain time accrued during his sentence,” Manderfield wrote in an email to The Detroit Free Press.
Wershe is currently being held at the Putnam Correctional Institution for men in East Palatka, Florida, according to FDOC inmate records.
Wershe became the FBI's youngest informant at the age of 14. He was arrested and eventually convicted in Detroit in 1987, at the age of 17, for possession with intent to deliver more than 650 grams of cocaine. He had originally been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Wershe continued breaking records when he became the longest-serving non violent juvenile offender in Michigan history.
Confined at the Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee, Michigan, a 10-member Michigan Parole Board voted unanimously to release Wershe on July 14, 2017. Wershe then pleaded guilty to two 1999 felony charges for racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering pertaining to incidents in which he had allegedly attempted to help his sister, Dawn Wershe, buy and sell stolen cars while he was in prison. He was moved to Florida to serve the rest of his time.
"They said, 'Listen, this is what we're going to do. If you don't take this plea, we are going to arrest your mom and your sister,'" Wershe said of his later convictions, according to Click On Detroit. "It was a forced plea. I don't agree I committed the crime that I was convicted of."
While imprisoned in Michigan, Wershe had continued to work with investigators, helping the FBI crack down on corrupt officers.
Wershe's release date may be moved up even further if he remains on good behavior.
“I have to deal with, and whatever it is, that’s what I’m going to do,” he's said of the end of his sentence.
The story of Wershe has inspired several documentaries and a 2018 film, titled "White Boy Rick," starring Matthew McConaughey as the ill-famed criminal's father.
[Photo: Florida Department of Corrections]
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