Old enemy wants 'White Boy Rick' freed

By Kevin Dietz - Reporter, John Steckroth - Editor

DETROIT - Richard Wershe (a.k.a. “White Boy Rick”) is the longest serving juvenile drug offender in the history of Michigan.

The parole board refuses to consider his release, as well as the Wayne County prosecutor, but after being locked up for more than 28 years, Wershe is getting support from someone who may have once wanted him dead.

Johnnie Curry is an ex-convict and former gang leader.

“Rick was nowhere near me from a scale of one to ten,” Curry said. “I’m a 10. He is a two. Rick couldn’t touch me with a ten foot pole. They made him way bigger than he was.”

A new special is currently under production by Transition Studios and award winning producer Shawn Rech detailing the story of “White Boy Rick” who was busted at 17 years old with eight kilos of cocaine.

After 28 years, Wershe is still in prison.

The documentary is called “650 Lifer.” Rech tracked down Curry who by his own accounts was a real drug kingpin in Detroit. He said Wershe was small time and should have been out of prison decades ago.

“I did way more than he could have possibly done to get that kind of sentence,” Curry said. “Rick should have done seven to eight years and been home.”

Rick Wershe was a teenage informant tipping off police to drug dealers starting at age 14. Eventually Wershe would help police make a case against Johnny Curry.

“It surprises me a little bit but he knows I was never what I was made out to be,” Wershe said. “He is probably just trying to do the right thing.”

When Curry went to prison, Wershe moved in with Curry’s wife, Cathy Volsen Curry, who was the niece of then Mayor Coleman Young.

“He was gone and I hooked up with his wife,” Wershe said. “Was it the smart thing to do? Probably not, but I don’t think he holds it against me 30 years later.”

Wershe was sentenced to life in prison.

Some say Mayor Young didn’t like Wershe with his niece. Others say Wershe’s real enemy is recently deceased police officer and city council member Gil Hill.

Curry is speaking out about Wershe’s time in prison saying it’s time to let him out.

“He did more time than murderers,” Curry said. “He served a lot of time for something that he wasn’t.”

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