The documentary "White Boy," about about convicted Detroit drug trafficker Richard Wershe Jr., will be available on iTunes.
Shawn Rech is the producer of the film that debuted at the Detroit Institute of Arts last March during the Detroit Free Press Film Festival. On Wednesday, Rech announced on Facebook:
Apple, Inc. has chosen our film "White Boy" to be an iTunes Exclusive for two weeks this spring, premiering on May 22, the 31st anniversary of Richard Wershe Jr.'s arrest. On June 6 it will hit all other formats including cable, satellite, Xbox and PlayStation.
Wershe, known earlier as "White Boy Rick," was an anomaly in Detroit -- a white kid trafficking cocaine. At 14, he became an FBI informant and he went on to traffic sizeble amounts of cocaine. He and people in law enforcement would later try to dispel his reputation as a drug kingpin, but the media often referred to him that way.
In May 1987, 17-year-old Wershe was charged with drug trafficking. Wershe, who had been dating the niece of then-Mayor Coleman A. Young, was later convicted and sentenced, under a tough, mandatory state law to life in prison without parole. The law eventually changed and he was resentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Last July, after about 29 years, Wershe was paroled from Michigan prisons after a lengthy sentence that many saw as an injustice.
On Aug. 22, the U.S. Marshal's Service picked up the 48-year-old in Michigan to take him down to Florida to serve out another sentence for being part of a car theft ring while he was behind bars in the federal witness protection program. Before going to Florida, Wershe, while in prison in Michigan, helped the FBI execute a sting that netted crooked cops and Mayor Young's common-law brother-in-law.
Wershe's current release date from prison is March 2021, but he could get out sooner if Florida authorities allow that.
At least one other movie is ahead: Actor Matthew McConaughey will star as Wershe's father in the Hollywood version titled "White Boy Rick."
Multiple books are also being written about Wershe including one by former Detroit TV investigative reporter Vince Wade, who lives in California.