Osceola County

‘White Boy Rick,’ former teen FBI informant, released from Kissimmee halfway house after serving more than 3 decades

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — After serving more than 30 years split between Michigan and Florida, a former FBI informant who was sentenced to life in prison as a teenager was released from custody in Central Florida on Monday.

Channel 9 was outside a Kissimmee halfway house when Richard Wershe Jr., 51, was released as a free man for the first time since his sentencing at age 17.

READ: ‘White Boy Rick,’ former FBI informant sentenced to life in Michigan, to be released from Central Florida halfway house Monday

Wershe, also known as “White Boy Rick,” was convicted of possession with intent to deliver over 650 grams of cocaine and sentenced to life in prison in Michgan at age 17, according to ABC affiliate WXYZ. It later became public knowledge that Wershe began trafficking drugs after working for the FBI as an informant.

In 2017, Wershe was granted parole after serving nearly 30 years in prison. At the time, WXYZ reported that he was Michigan’s longest-serving nonviolent criminal.

After his parole was granted, Wershe was transferred to a Florida prison to serve five years after being convicted on racketeering charges related to an auto theft ring investigators said he was involved with while incarcerated.

The story of Wershe’s life made it to theaters in 2018 in a movie titled “White Boy Rick” starring actor Matthew McConaughey.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.