DETROIT (1270 Talk Radio) A planned pre-parole hearing for Richard Wershe, 42, the convicted drug dealer known as White Boy Rick, was abruptly cancelled this week, according to his attorney.
That means Wershe is behind bars until at least 2017, the next time he's eligible for a hearing.
Wershe's attorney Ralph Marcelli visited the Charlie Langton Talk Radio 1270 show along with author Scott Burnstein to break down why White Boy Rick is the only person in Michigan convicted under a later overturned "lifer" drug law who's still behind bars.
In a nutshell, Wershe was charged at 17 years old with carrying eight kilos of cocaine in Detroit and convicted under a now-defunct law that gave him life in prison. But Wershe made headlines around the world because he had infiltrated local drug gangs at the tender age of 13 -- at the request of Detroit police and FBI agents -- and turned in evidence that convicted 14 dealers and gangsters, including some of the biggest drug dealers in Detroit history.
Then the baby-faced teen was a defendant himself.
"The fact that he was White Boy Rick is why we're sitting here," Burnstein said.
Charlie Langton said: "Some murderers don't do that much time."
Wershe received a letter in May or June saying the parole board was going to give him consideration for parole, and he had to take several tests and fill out pre-hearing information ahead of time.
"He was anticipating having a pre-parole hearing on August 20, that would have set the stage as to when or whether they were going to give him a public hearing," Marcelli said, adding, "He got a letter yesterday in prison saying they were not inclined to give him any consideration at all."
His next parole hearing was set for 2017. "That is the next time they said they would even consider granting him parole, which is absolutely absurd," Marcelli said. "He was 17 years old when he went into prison.
"Everybody else under that (law), he's the only one still in prison that was imprisoned under that law, and that doesn't even get into considering that he got involved in the drug trade in the first place at the behest of the Detroit Police Department and the FBI ... They were using him to infiltrate the drug gangs on the east side," Marcelli added.
Langton asked: Is there a conspiracy against him?
"I think there was a conspiracy at the time to keep under wraps (his role with law enforcement)," Burnstein said, adding, "This has been confirmed. I've talked to numerous people that were deeply involved in the conspiracy to cultivate this 13 year old boy."
So, why won't the system let him go?
"I don't know why they're not giving him consideration, I don't know if there's a conspiracy or not, all I know is this kid has been in jail for most of his life now and nobody wants to give a reason why," Marcelli said.
Wershe himself chatted with Langton earlier this summer from his prison cell at Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee, Mich.
"I never imagined I would still be sitting here," Wershe said at the time. "I believe because the misinformation that's been given to the parole board, the lies … They testified under oath to false testimony, they said I never worked for the government, that I never worked for the Detroit Police Department, that I was this huge drug dealer. I sold drugs for 11 months (after ceasing work as an informant.)
"They've turned me into an urban legend."
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