Youngest ever paid FBI drug informant 'White Boy Rick', 51, is released from prison after 32 years - having spent his whole adult life behind bars

The youngest paid drug informant in FBI history has been released from custody in Florida, taking his first steps of freedom since he was incarcerated as a teenager 32 years ago.
Richard J. Wershe Jr. - known more commonly as White Boy Rick - was discharged from a residential work-release program in Kissimmee on Monday, the state's Department of Corrections confirmed in a statement.
The 51-year-old has been behind bars since 1988 for a non-violent drug crime, despite being one of the FBI's most productive paid drug informants having started working undercover for the bureau in Detroit when he was just 14.
His controversial case garnered national attention and has even inspired a number of books and movies, including the 2018 feature film White Boy Rick, starring Matthew McConaughey.
'He´s anxious to get home,' Wershe's attorney, Ralph Musilli, told reporters Monday. '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.'
Richard J. Wershe Jr. – known more commonly as White Boy Rick - was discharged from a residential work-release program in Kissimmee on Monday, the state's Department of Corrections confirmed
Richard J. Wershe Jr. – known more commonly as White Boy Rick - was discharged from a residential work-release program in Kissimmee on Monday, the state's Department of Corrections confirmed 
The 51-year-old has been behind bars since 1988 for a non-violent drug crime, despite being one of the FBI's most productive paid drug informants having started working undercover for the bureau in Detroit when he was just 14
The 51-year-old has been behind bars since 1988 for a non-violent drug crime, despite being one of the FBI's most productive paid drug informants having started working undercover for the bureau in Detroit when he was just 14
Wershe was arrested by Detroit police in 1987, aged 17, after being found in possession of 17 pounds of cocaine and $30,000 in cash. 
A jury later convicted him of possession with the intent to supply more than 650 grams of cocaine. He was initially sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, however, drug laws later changed allowing the possibility of supervised release. 
Wershe was the longest-serving nonviolent juvenile offender in Michigan's history. He was locked up in the state's Oaks Correction facility until 2017, before a parole board handed him over to US Marshals.
He was then sent to Florida to serve time for a 2006 conviction stemming from his role in a car theft ring. The crimes happened while he was incarcerated in the state as part of the federal witness protection program. 
Growing up in the ghettos of Detroit, at 14 years old Wershe became friendly with a number of the area's most prominent, politically-connected drug dealers. 
The son of a notorious street hustler and con-artist, Ron Wershe Sr., the teen quickly garnered the attention of the FBI, who recruited him as a secret, underage informant. 
The deal was brokered by his father, who agreed to put his adolescent son's life at stake in exchange for FBI cash. 
'I took the money. I wasn't doing all that well at the time,' Wershe Sr. later recalled to Atavist Magazine. 'And I thought it was the right thing – keep some drug dealers off the street and get paid for it.'
Wershe was arrested by Detroit police in 1987, aged 17. Officials reported that he was found with 17 pounds of cocaine in his possession and $30,000 in cash
Wershe was arrested by Detroit police in 1987, aged 17. Officials reported that he was found with 17 pounds of cocaine in his possession and $30,000 in cash
Wershe, 51, covered his head and got into a car headed to Michigan
The black SUV transporting Wershe is seen above
Wershe, 51, was videoed covering his head as he got into a car headed to Michigan on Monday
Wershe was then taught by law enforcement how to pedal drugs and was planted inside one of the city's most dangerous gangs. 
He went on to become a gold mine of information about the city's highest-ranking drug dealers. 
At aged 15, he told the FBI that major dealer Johnny Curry had spoken of paying a bribe to Detroit detective inspector in order to quash an investigation into the murder of a 13-year-old boy.
After Curry was convicted and sent to prison, he admitted to investigators that he had paid Detroit Police Homicide Inspector Gilbert 'Gil' Hill $10,000 to squander the murder probe.
Wershe was even shot in the stomach while working as an informant for the bureau and helped to send a dozen corrupt police officers to prison.
A year after the FBI dropped him as an informant without warning in 1986, he was arrested on the drug possession charges.
At the time of his arrest, the media cited Wershe to be a dangerous cocaine drug lord known to his underlings as 'White Boy Rick'. 
Pictures of the baby faced felon were plastered all over the news. Often his face was placed atop a criminal hierarchy, showing the 17-year-old at the top of the ladder with the city's most hardened criminals presented as his subordinate. 
At his trial, the judge insisted he had no sympathy for Wershe, saying he was 'worse than a mass murderer'.  
At age 14, Wershe was taught how to pedal drugs and was planted inside one of the city's most dangerous gangs
He went on to become a gold mine of information about the city's highest-ranking drug dealers
At age 14, Wershe was taught how to pedal drugs and was planted inside one of the city's most dangerous gangs. He went on to become a goldmine of information about the city's highest-ranking drug dealers
His controversial case garnered national attention and has even inspired a number of books and movies, including the 2018 feature film White Boy Rick, starring Matthew McConaughey
His controversial case garnered national attention and has even inspired a number of books and movies, including the 2018 feature film White Boy Rick, starring Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey and Richie Merritt star in White Boy Rick
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Richard Wershe Sr. tried to get the FBI to help his son but they refused to intervene. 
His former handler Herman Groman told the Daily Beast the FBI and Justice Department didn't come to his aid because they'd most likely face intense criticism for enlisting a young teenager in the war on drugs. 
Over the next few decades, Wershe watched on as hitmen and murderers were imprisoned and released around him as he remained in jail on possession charges.
'I told on the wrong people,' he told the Daily Beast in 2017, voicing regret that he had missed out on a lot of time with his two daughters and son, who are now in their 30s.
'I've lost a lot of my life to things that aren't true,' he told the Detroit News the same year. 'I was never the drug dealer ... who was this huge kingpin. That couldn't be more wrong. I sold drugs for 11 months.'
Much of Wershe's time in prison was spent in the federal Witness Security Program, as a result of his informant work on corrupt cops. 
For a time he was in Witness Security prison with Salvatore 'Sammy the Bull' Gravano, the government's star witness in their case against the late Mafioso, John Gotti.
Groman says Gravano once told him on the phone: 'I don't understand it. I whacked 19 guys for John Gotti and I cooperated. I'm getting out of this place in April. This kid, who's never pulled the trigger on anybody... has got to stay here for the rest of his life. That don't make no sense,' the Daily Beast reported.
After three decades in prison, Wershe is understood to be returning to Michigan where his mother, sister and son are living. He's still on parole until August 22, 2021
After three decades in prison, Wershe is understood to be returning to Michigan where his mother, sister and son are living. He's still on parole until August 22, 2021
Speaking about Wershe's 'long overdue release', Groman said it's a 'difficult thing for me to process.'
'He was locked up when he was 17 years old for a non-violent drug crime—possession—and largely in part because of his cooperation with the FBI, and more specifically with me, on a major police corruption case, he essentially wound up not getting any credit for that and he ended up spending more than 30 years in prison.' 
After three decades in prison, Wershe is understood to be returning to Michigan where his mother, sister and son are living. He's still on parole until August 22, 2021.
He won't be allowed to possess drugs, weapons, alcohol, or leave the state until after that term is served.
'I think it's going to be an interesting journey for him,' Groman told the Daily Beast. 'I think it can be fraught with a lot of peril. Think how much the world has changed in the last 30 years. You know, in every way. His world is going to be completely different.' 
Youngest ever paid FBI drug informant 'White Boy Rick', 51, is released from prison after 32 years - having spent his whole adult life behind bars Youngest ever paid FBI drug informant 'White Boy Rick', 51, is released from prison after 32 years - having spent his whole adult life behind bars Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 03:20 Rating: 5

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