'White Boy Rick' interested in freedom, not fame
'White Boy Rick' weighs in on movie about his life
DETROIT – Rick Wershe Jr. was only 14 when he worked as an FBI informant.
Then, the FBI abandoned him, and he started dealing drugs until he was caught, convicted and given the nickname "White Boy Rick."
Wershe was convicted of possessing more than 650 grams of cocaine, he was sentenced to life in prison. He has been in prison ever since.
Now, Wershe is in Putnam Correctional Institution 60 miles south of Jacksonville, Florida.
He said he would love to be at the film festivals and red carpet premiers of the movie about his life, but he won't even be able to see the movie from behind bars.
He's not interested in the movie making him even more famous, but he does hope it will get him an early release date.
Wershe has been at the Florida penitentiary for almost a year. It's minimum security, which means more freedom, but he said that the time there has not been easy.
"This time that I got down here has been the roughest that I've ever done. Just getting used to it, or whatever, but you try and suppress it or you try and let it go and you work out, or you go to work for the day, or the time I spend on the phone. To be honest the time I spend on the phone with her is what really gets me through the day," Wershe said.
In Florida Wershe is far away from the friends and family that used to visit him in Michigan. He's lost 30 pounds working in the Florida sun. He feels like he should have been home years ago, which makes every single day in custody miserable.
"The worst part is when you wake up, the best part is when you go to sleep because you've done another day," Wershe said.
Wershe has been in prison since he was 18-years-old for two nonviolent crimes, possession of drugs in Michigan, and taking part in a stolen car ring in Florida.
Legal scholars have called the three-decade sentence a grave injustice. Still, Wershe is optimistic.
"I've never let them break me. I did it one day at a time. I always stayed strong. I try to work out, I try to read, I try to educate myself. I just never let this become part of my life," Wershe said.
Wershe has an out date of Jan. 4, 2021, but that can be reduced by a few months for good behavior.
A movie staring Matthew McConaughey, based on Wershe's life, is expected to be released Sept. 14.
For the past several months Wershe has been working on a podcast telling his story.
The series features extensive interviews with Wershe, former drug bosses, law enforcement officials, legal professionals, family and friends of Wershe, as well as an exclusive interview with Academy Award winning actor, Matthew McConaughey, who plays the part of Richard Wershe, Sr. in the new film, "White Boy Rick."
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