Orlander by Brand-Williams | Detroit News
On the one-year anniversary of his release from prison after 32 years, Richard Versche Jr. filed a lawsuit Tuesday that accused former FBI agents, former Detroit police officers and former federal prosecutors in relation to his time as an informant on child abuse. was accused of. was a teenager.
“I want this chapter of my life to come to a close,” said Vershey, a former FBI and Detroit Police informant known as “White Boy Rick,” as he visits his mother Darlene and family on Tuesday. surrounded by other members.
Vershe, 52, said he wanted to file a lawsuit several years ago but two of his former lawyers feared they would have no chance of being released if they did.
A year ago, Vershey spoke to reporters for the first time since he was released from prison after spending 32 years and seven months behind bars.
The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Detroit, names former Detroit police officers William Jasper and Kevin Greene and retired FBI agents Herman Groman and James Dixon as defendants. The suit also names former federal prosecutor Lynn Healand, who is now executive director and general counsel for the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, James King, and the third is listed as “unidentified.” The city of Detroit is also named as a defendant.
A spokesman for the FBI’s Detroit office declined to comment.
Detroit Police’s second deputy chief, Rudy Harper, said, “We haven’t seen the trial nor the charges…”
Haaland had no immediate comment. Dixon, a former Southfield resident, reportedly died in 2018.
In the trial, Vershe explicitly stated his time as a juvenile informant, who was reportedly first contacted by FBI agents at the age of 14. According to Versche and his lawyers, Detroit teens regularly met with FBI agents and Detroit police officers to provide information about Detroit. Drug gangs dominated.
“If I had not been an informant for the task force, I would never have been involved in drug gangs or any form of criminality,” Vershe claimed in the lawsuit. He states that he didn’t come up with the nickname “White Boy Rick”, but rather it was the media that gave him the details.
Vershe said Tuesday he was used by FBI agents and Detroit police officers for information on drug gangs and left to serve a long prison sentence for a 1988 drug conviction, while he promised That they would help them because they cooperated with them. for information.
“The justice system is not fair to me,” Vershe said Tuesday. “It needed to be known. It was necessary to tell the truth.”
Vershe said Tuesday that he would adopt the name White Boy Rick and use it as a “platform” to do good in the community through his longstanding food delivery program and help others by working toward prison reform. will use.
The lawsuit alleges that Vershe’s time as an informant began when the FBI first contacted him after his father contacted the agency because his daughter had begun dating a known drug dealer.
According to the trial, when a “potential suspicion” was raised between them that the teen was an informant, Versace Jr. became the target of local criminals in his neighborhood.
“In November of 1984, Plaintiff had an attempt (murder) whereby he was shot at point-blank range with a .357 Magnum, slicing his large intestine in half and surviving only by the grace of God ,” the lawsuit reads.
According to the lawsuit, after being shot, Versche was described as “in further danger” by agents and police when they “forced” him to remain an informant.
“It was clear to most that the shooting was not an accident, (Verse) was asked to cover it up to increase his credibility on the streets and, more importantly to the defendants, that it allowed him (Vershey) to be abused. Will be allowed to continue, the lawsuit says.
After more than three decades behind bars, Vershe was released from prison on July 20, 2020. He was serving a life sentence on a drug conviction when he was sentenced at the age of 17 in the Wayne County Courtroom in 1988.
Vershe said Tuesday that he was never a drug kingpin as he was portrayed in some news stories.
Vershey was later deported to Florida after Michigan officials quickly bailed him out of state prison and released him to the Sunshine State to serve a prison sentence in connection with a car theft ring that he was charged with. was imposed while he was being held in Florida. Prison in the Federal Witness Protection Program.
Vershey’s new attorney, Nabih Ayad, said the FBI and Detroit police put 52-year-old Vershey at risk by becoming an informant.
“They didn’t want it to be revealed that a kid was working for the FBI,” Ayad said Tuesday. “(Vershe) did many things to help our government.”
“As a result, Versche also holds the record in the state of Michigan as the longest-serving prisoner convicted as a juvenile on a non-murder offense: 32 years and 7 months; his entire adult life,” recalled. said. “Verse was shot at age 15 while working as a confidential informant for the FBI and DPD, and, humiliatingly, he joined high-level drug gangs in Detroit in the 1980s. continued to use it to infiltrate, after this assassination attempt.”
Vershey’s life story has been the subject of several documentaries and a film starring actor Matthew McConaughey.
Groman and fellow-retired FBI agent Greg Schwarz have spoken in the past on Vershey’s behalf during their lengthy battle to be released from prison as Vershe saw other prisoners convicted of drug offenses years earlier.
Ayad filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, saying that “Groman later tried (to help Vershe), but the damage was already done.”
Ayad said, “We didn’t want to involve Haaland, but we had no way out because he had made promises to Rick. He wanted to help Rick, but his hands were tied.”
Varshe is the father of three grown children and the grandfather of six children. Vershey’s father, Richard Vershey Sr., died while his son was in prison.
“It’s been difficult. I lost almost 33 years of my life,” Versche said on Tuesday. “I lost time with my kids. My father isn’t here.”
Vershey’s longtime lawyer, Ralph Musili, died in February at the age of 77. Musili told The News last year that Vershey’s long imprisonment was an “unforgivable” and unusual punishment.