White Boy RickeBook - 2018
Incarcerated for a single drug offense spawning from an arrest at a routine traffic stop when he was just seventeen, Rick Wershe, Jr. served twenty-nine years of a life sentence before he was paroled in 2017. But before he was busted in the late 1980s, he was a pawn of the government, recruited out of the eighth grade and put to work as a paid informant to help bust one of the biggest, most powerful and politically connected drug rings plaguing Detroit--a syndicate tied directly to the city's brash, controversial mayor.
A baby-faced, teenage drug-dealer known as "White Boy Rick" on the streets, Wershe rose through the ranks of the Motor City's exclusively black and high-octane inner city narcotics scene before he could legally drive a car. He was shot and almost killed, cheated death in some half-dozen assassination attempts, negotiated million-dollar cocaine deals with Colombian and Cuban drug lords in Miami and Las Vegas, hobnobbed with the city's biggest kingpins and most notorious killers, and played ball with dirty cops and politicians. All with the backing of the FBI and when he should have been in high school.
Draped in his full-length mink coats, signature Adidas tracksuit, and gold rope neck chains, Wershe was the poster boy of youth crime in the crack cocaine era and a true media sensation in the Motor City press. His romances with the mayor's beautiful niece, almost a decade his senior, and the wife of his imprisoned drug-kingpin mentor burnished his legend and increased media coverage. But Wershe's success was also his downfall. When the FBI no longer needed him, they cut him loose. With no education or prospects, he turned to the one thing he knew how to do: sell drugs. Eventually convicted on a single possession charge, Wershe went to prison for nearly thirty years (evn though his peers who had been charged with similar crimes were released in the 90s) and fought against those in the government who wanted to keep his former role as an underage informant for federal law enforcement out of the spotlight.
Set during the heyday of the decadent Reagan era, White Boy Rick is the story of an ambitious teenage boy exploited by Uncle Sam, a once-great city in decay, and a nation in the midst of change--a tale of race, class, crime, corruption, and lost innocence that resonates today.