Richard "White Boy Rick" Wershe Jr., the longest-serving non-violent juvenile offender in Michigan history, is set to be released on July 20. Wershe, whose life was depicted in the 2018 film White Boy Rick, spent three decades in jail while serving a life sentence on a drug conviction he was given at 17.

Wershe grew up in Detroit and was made a paid informant at 14 through an introduction from his father, Richard Wershe Sr., who owned a gun and bait shop that was being investigated for selling illegal firearms. Prior to this, Wershe Jr. had been picked up for running drugs amid Detroit's crack cocaine epidemic, which is when he picked up the nickname "White Boy Rick." 

While authorities have painted Wershe as a notorious kingpin, former FBI agents, his lawyer, and his supporters say that Wershe risked his life as an informant while helping put away kingpins in the city. Wershe says that he was brought into the life of selling drugs by the police and agents that used him as an informant from 1984-1986. He added that he was shot in the stomach and stopped selling drugs at 16. 

After spending three decades in jail, Wershe was paroled in 2017 and sent to Florida to serve time for a 2006 conviction stemming from his role in a car theft ring. He will have to serve four years parole in Michigan after his release. His parole runs through Aug. 22, 2021. 

Source: Detroit News