- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - A judge is considering whether to lessen the sentence of a Detroit-area drug dealer who has spent nearly 30 years in prison for crimes that go back to when he was a teenager.

Richard Wershe Jr., 46, will appear Friday morning before Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway, attorney Ralph Musilli said Wednesday.

“The judge will read her opinion,” said Musilli, who filed the resentencing motion. He argued that Wershe has spent more time in prison than many people convicted of murder and other violent offenses.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has opposed resentencing.

Wershe, known in the Detroit area as “White Boy Rick,” was arrested in 1987. Prosecutors at the time said he had cocaine before his arrest but dumped it in a neighbor’s yard before being taken into custody.

His lawyers said the cocaine was found only after Wershe was beaten by police.

Wershe was convicted the following year of possessing more than 650 grams of cocaine and was 18 when sentenced to life in prison without parole. Changes in Michigan’s drug law made him eligible for parole, but so far he has been denied release.

“They have given him no expectation of release,” Musilli told The Associated Press. “In Rick’s case, we’re not talking about murder. We’re not talking about robbery. We’re not talking about rape.”

Wershe’s past includes helping the FBI investigate drugs and police corruption. He is being held in a state prison in northern Michigan.


This story has been corrected to show Wershe’s age as 46, not 45.

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