The True Story Of White Boy Rick

In a just world, this would be a video about how the guy from the Offspring video for "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" fathered offspring of his own after granting a woman's request to "Give it to me, baby." But "White Boy Rick" (real name Richard Wershe Jr.) is not the fly white guy's child. He was, however, a child when he became an FBI informant. At just 14 years old, he helped the feds take down twenty members of a dangerous Detroit drug ring, including a big-time cocaine trafficker, per the Associated Press.

The FBI enlisted Rick while investigating his father for making illegal gun sales. Rick Sr. also had a side gig as an informant, according to the Guardian, so the teen began working in tandem with his dad before branching off on his own. His age and appearance may have worked in his favor. As Rick's attorney, Ralph Musilli, remarked, "He was this baby-faced white kid who would go in and show up at parties. He was a novelty." According to law enforcement, though, his youthful innocence was only skin-deep.

At just 17, the young informant got busted by federal agents for dealing cocaine. "I sold drugs for 11 months," Rick said. A judge called the teen "worse than a murderer" and sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

Sometimes the punishment is a crime

Teenagers are, generally speaking, stupid — even the really smart ones. Teens say stupid things, do even stupider things, and take the stupidest risks. Still, you know what's arguably even stupider than that avalanche of wayward decision-making? Surrounding a teenager with money and drugs and expecting them not to be tempted by those things. As Rick put it, according to the Guardian, "Was I blinded by the money, was I blinded by the girls, was I blinded by the material possessions? Absolutely."

One could also call Rick's life sentence cruel and unusually stupid, but as the Associated Press reports, ex-FBI agent Herman Groman described it in a much smarter way: "I believe a great injustice to Richard Wershe has been done by the government." Behind bars, history repeated itself. As the Guardian describes, he infiltrated a ring of crooked crops, resulting in the arrest of dozens, but he also ran afoul of the law. The Associated Press states that he participated in an interstate car theft ring from inside prison.

Adding to your rap sheet while behind bars doesn't sound like a way to subtract from a prison sentence. But as Rick points out, "I grew up in prison. I had no one there to guide me other than older people that were all criminals themselves." Now in his fifties, according to CBS Detroit, Rick isn't a boy anymore. He stopped growing up and started growing old. He's currently slated to be released in 2020.