Rick Wershe Jr. in court to preserve $100 million lawsuit against Detroit and FBI

Richard Wershe Jr., the Detroit man who as a teen became embroiled in undercover police work before spending decades in prison, was in court Wednesday to preserve and push his lawsuit against law enforcement.

Also known as ‘White Boy Rick’ after he became associated with a heavy-handed sentence for drug offenses following years of work as an informant for federal and local police, Wershe has sued the FBI, the city of Detroit, and several officers as the cause for his incarceration.

He alleges the two agencies and police officers forced him into being a drug informant at the age of 14, then keeping him in prison and prolonging his sentence. He cites two separate occasions - one in 1988 and one in 2003.

"I did 30 years in prison for the same crime everyone else committed," Wershe said outside the courthouse. "As I was in here, my friend who was convicted when he was 16 years old texted me that he did 14 years. 

"Why was I held for 30 years?"

The 1988 case revolves around when he was first sent to prison as a teen, alleging law enforcement was grooming him to be an informant. The 2003 example was from when Wershe was up for parole. Instead, Wershe says law enforcement conspired to keep him in prison. 

He was in court Wednesday following responses from the defendants who say Wershe had missed the window to file a suit, arguing the statute of limitations had been reached. 

Meet the real 'White Boy Rick' Wershe on Detroit's east side - where it all began

But Wershe's lawyers say there are stipulations to the statute that allow for a lawsuit to be filed after it ends if he can prove he had been retaliated against if he had gone public. The civil suit, which requests $100 million in damages from the city and FBI, was filed shortly after Wershe was released from prison two years ago.

"I think the government and powers that be are still trying to lie and cover things up that they did," Wershe said.

A judge listening in on the case said she would need specifics before allowing the case to move forward. An opinion is expected in the next 30 days.