The Michigan Parole Board will hold a public hearing on whether to release a Detroit-area drug dealer who has been in prison for 29 years for crimes when he was a teen. The board voted Friday to proceed to the hearing for Richard Wershe, who is better known in Detroit as “White Boy Rick.” The 47-year-old old, who was interviewed by the board chairman in February, is serving a life sentence with occasional opportunities for parole.
He was convicted of possessing more than 650 grams of cocaine, but the officer who arrested him in the late 1980s this week told a Detroit television station the sentence was too harsh and he knew Wershe wasn’t the drug kingpin prosecutors made him out to be. Wershe has helped the FBI investigate drugs and police corruption. Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy is taking a neutral position on paroling Wershe. The public hearing is expected to be held in early June.