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Sister: ‘White Boy Rick’ on way to Florida prison

Oralandar Brand-Williams

Richard Wershe Jr., who served nearly three decades behind bars on Michigan drug charges, was put in a prison van Tuesday to serve the rest of a prison term in Florida, his sister said Tuesday.

Wershe, dubbed “White Boy Rick,” was paroled last month by Michigan Parole Board officials. The 10-member parole board decided unanimously during an executive session to parole Wershe, 47, who has been behind bars since 1988.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Corrections said Wershe was picked up Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals service and was no longer in Michigan Department of Corrections custody.

Wershe’s sister, Dawn Scott, said she spoke with her brother last week and he told her he was not looking forward to the long ride, more than 20 hours, to Florida in a van with other prisoners.

Scott said her brother recalled the “horrible” ride he took from Florida back to Michigan to serve his time on the Michigan drug conviction.

“The van goes all over the place picking up prisoners,” Scott said Tuesday. “They’re all shackled. It’s hot. There’s no restroom facilities.”

Scott said Wershe had sought a three-day furlough from Florida state officials and to be allowed to turn himself in, but they refused.

Scott said she plans to contact Florida Gov. Rick Scott to ask that her brother serve the rest of his five-year prison sentence on parole.

“I have faith in God (that) Florida is going to do the right thing so that he can get on with his life,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said Tuesday: “We are not aware of any additional hearings at this time” in Wershe’s case there.

Wershe was sentenced to the Florida prison term for a 2006 conviction on racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. The crimes happened while he was incarcerated in Florida under the federal witness protection program.

Wershe’s lawyer, Ralph Musilli, said last month he has about 22 months of the Florida sentence left to serve.

Musilli said Tuesday he won’t decide his next legal move until Wershe is processed by Florida corrections authorities and the attorney finds out how long the state intends to keep his client in custody.

“I’m hoping he’s got accumulated good time,” Musilli said.

Florida authorities kept close tabs on reports about Wershe’s conduct while he was incarcerated in Michigan, said Musilli, who added “it’s very likely” that Florida could credit Wershe for good time since he had positive behavior reports and did not get infraction tickets.