'White Boy Rick' to be released earlier from Florida prison

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Richard "White Boy Rick" Wershe Jr. could be released from a Florida prison as soon as August.

The Florida Department of Corrections said this week Wershe's release date is scheduled for Aug. 17. His release date had been set for Oct. 26, 2020.

Rick Wershe Jr.

The change comes about six months after a Florida clemency board denied him early prison release.

More: 'White Boy Rick' denied early release in Florida

Wershe, 50, was once one of the FBI’s youngest informants and was the subject of a recent Hollywood movie.

Paroled in Michigan in 2017 after serving three decades behind bars on drug charges, Wershe was sent to Florida to serve time for a 2006 conviction stemming from his role in a car theft ring.

Last last year, Florida corrections officials announced Wershe's release date would be Nov. 25, 2020, and then moved it to a month earlier.

Initially, Wershe wasn't set to be released from Florida prison until April 20, 2021, but the date was changed to November 2020 for good behavior, according to officials.

Wershe was convicted in 1988 of manufacturing/possession with intent to deliver more than 650 grams of cocaine.

Authorities say he rose to become a ranking drug lord in one of Detroit's roughest neighborhoods, but his supporters, lawyers and retired FBI agents say he was an informant who helped to put away the city's most notorious drug kingpins.

In 1987, when Wershe was arrested, he had 9,000 grams of cocaine and $30,000 in cash on him.

A movie starring Matthew McConaughey about Wershe's life, called "White Boy Rick," debuted in September 2018.