'White Boy' Rick has clemency hearing in Florida on Wednesday morning

Posted at 7:59 AM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 17:39:46-04

(WXYZ) — A clemency hearing in Florida was held for Richard "White Boy Rick" Wershe Jr. in front of the executive clemency board which includes Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

During the clemency hearing, Wershe's lawyer and two former FBI agents appeared in front of the board in support of Wershe. Those former agents, Gregg Schwartz and Herman Groman, both said that Wershe deserves to be out of prison.

"During my time, I have come to know Richard Wershe for the last 32 years. He and I have had two conversations each week during those 32 years. I have come to know him as someone who is sincere, honest, has never lied to me about anything," Schwartz said in front of the hearing.

DeSantis, who led the hearing, asked questions about a statement saying Wershe was a model prisoner, saying that Wershe committed crimes while still in prison.

In June 2017, Wershe was unanimously granted parole in Michigan after spending nearly 30 years in prison. He was Michigan's longest-serving non-violent criminal.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, the parole board unanimously voted to grant him parole.

He was sentenced to serve five years in prison in Florida after begin convicted on racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering charges in 2006.

He began serving his prison sentence in Florida following his release from Michigan prison, and was set to be released on Oct. 26, 2020.

His story gained national attention in the 1980s — convicted of Possession with Intent to Deliver Over 650 Grams of Cocaine, Wershe was sentenced to life in prison when he was still a teenager. It later became public knowledge that Wershe began trafficking drugs after working for the FBI as an informant.