Judge Dismisses ‘White Boy Rick’ Lawsuits Against FBI, Detroit Police

Richard Wershe Jr., aka “White Boy Rick” as a teen and in prison.

By Steve Neavling

A federal judge on Monday tossed a pair of lawsuits that claimed the FBI and Detroit Police Department indoctrinated Rick Wershe, a cocaine dealer known as White Boy Rick, into a “criminal society” by using him as a federal informant as a child, The Detroit News reports

U.S. District Court Judge F. Kay Behm dismissed the $100 million suits based on the statute of limitations. 

“The court has considered all of the arguments presented in the written motions, supplemental briefs, and oral argument, and finds that plaintiff’s claims were untimely and barred by the relevant statutes of limitations,” Behm said in the written ruling. “…Defendants’ motions to dismiss are granted.”’

Wershe alleged in the lawsuits that the FBI and Detroit police recruited him to snitch at the age of 14. But when law enforcement no longer needed him, Wershe stayed in the drug world before he was busted selling cocaine at the age of 17. 

“Had I not been an informant for the task force, I would never have gotten involved with drug gangs or criminality of any sort,” the lawsuit stated.

He was sentenced to life in prison in 1988 and eventually paroled in 2017, only to be sent to a Florida prison to serve time for a 2006 conviction for his role in a car theft while locked up in Michigan. 

Wershe was finally set free on July 20, 2020. 

He is now 54 years old. 

The defendants asked the court to dismiss the lawsuits, arguing they were filed decades after the statute of limitations had expired.

The defendants also argued that Wershe fell short of the criteria needed to bypass the statute of limitations, including timeliness and fear of retaliation. 

“The plaintiff (did not) have a reasonable fear of retaliation that lasted for three decades,” Assistant U.S. attorney Jennifer Newby told the court during the summer hearing.

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