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Column: Time to Set Teen Drug Dealer Free After 25 Years; Retired FBI Agent Pushes for Release

Richard "White Boy Rick" Wershe/photo by Michelle Andonian

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit
DETROIT — On any ordinary day, Richard Wershe Jr. sleeps in and skips breakfast in his prison in northern Michigan. But on Tuesday — the 25th anniversary of his arrest in Detroit – he couldn’t sleep, so he grabbed some oatmeal with skim milk.

“I probably slept two hours,” Wershe told me. “I’ll never forget May 22. It still will always be the worst day of my life.”

Wershe is better known as White Boy Rick, one of the most famous drug dealers in Detroit history, a baby-faced, blond-haired, magazine cover boy who was only 17 when police arrested him in 1987 with $25,000 in cash while driving a new Thunderbird that had been rented by his girlfriend, Cathy Volsan. She was the niece of Mayor Coleman Young. Authorities later found eight kilos of cocaine, and they linked the dope to Wershe. He was convicted of drug trafficking Jan. 15, 1988 and sentenced to life in prison.

Wershe is in the news these days because he can’t get paroled — not even after 25 years in prison — not even after FBI agents and a federal prosecutor have vouched for him. Not even after he cooperated over many years and helped put away a bunch of dirty cops along with violent drug dealers.

While Wershe received a life sentence without parole, the state law was later changed, and he became eligible for parole, but in 2003 and 2008 he was rejected by a parole board. He’s up again in December for consideration.

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Comment from Dave Maj
Time October 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Please like the Free Rick page and share it. Thanks. -> https://www.facebook.com/freewhiteboyrickwershe

Comment from Dave Maj
Time October 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

But the parole board listened to this crooked and criminal ex Detroit top cop? A crooked cop who has been involved in criminal activities for years? The same one who is friends with Gil Hill who also has a vendetta against Rick?! http://www.freep.com/article/20120910/NEWS01/309100095/Ex-star-cop-now-accused-of-being-a-drug-dealing-swindler

Comment from Dave Maj
Time October 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Rick’s latest parole hearing was taken away and cancelled without a proper explanation. Justice? Hardly…

Comment from Dave Maj
Time November 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I’d love to hear comments from Bill Coonce about some of his past comments on Rick’s case. After all we know now what’s his view? http://www.ticklethewire.com/tag/bill-coonce/

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