His exploits were fictionalized in a Hollywood movie, and now the true story of a former FBI informant has taken on a new twist.
Richard Wershe Jr has filed a $ 100million (£ 73million) lawsuit against former FBI agents and prosecutors, alleging child abuse in connection with his time as an informant.
Wershe, now 52, has spent three decades behind bars after a drug conviction.
Recruited at 14, he would be the youngest FBI informant in history.
“I want this chapter of my life to be closed,” said Wershe, surrounded by his family at a press conference Tuesday, on the first anniversary of his release.
Known as “White Boy Rick,” Wershe’s brief stint as an informant and his ultimate belief inspired a 2018 film of the same name, starring Matthew McConaughey as his fictional father.
Wershe said the nickname was not a nickname, but coined by the media at the time of his arrest.
Former Detroit cops, retired FBI agents, former federal prosecutors and the city of Detroit are all named in the lawsuit.
A spokeswoman for the FBI office in Detroit declined to comment on the lawsuit because it is ongoing.
In the 10-page lawsuit, Wershe alleged he was initially contacted by federal agents after his father contacted the FBI, claiming his daughter was dating a known drug dealer.
He recalls meeting regularly with FBI agents and Detroit police officers to provide information on Detroit’s drug gangs.
“If I hadn’t been an informant for the task force, I would never have gotten involved in drug gangs or crime of any kind,” he wrote in the file.
Wershe was “forced” to continue the work, he said, despite what he described as an assassination attempt by local criminals once his connection to law enforcement was suspected. .
After two years of working with law enforcement, Wershe was drawn to the other side. He told the Guardian in 2015 that he was “blinded” by money, women and material possessions.
He was convicted in Michigan at the age of 17 for possession of cocaine. His role as an informant was inadmissible in court and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
“I was wrong,” he told The Guardian. “I took a path that I never thought would affect the rest of my life.”
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