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Michigan drug dealer serving life sentence asks for parole

FILE - In a Sept. 4, 2015 file photo, Rick Wershe Jr., sits in a courtroom at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit. The Detroit-area drug dealer will speak to members of the Michigan parole board after 29 years in prison for crimes when he was a teen. Wershe is appearing at a public hearing Thursday, June 8, 2017, at a prison in Jackson. The 47-year-old, known as "White Boy Rick," is serving a life sentence with occasional opportunities for parole. (David Coates /Detroit News via AP)

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area man seeking parole after nearly 30 years in prison for drug crimes committed when he was a teenager says he won’t return to drug dealing.

Known on the streets as “White Boy Rick,” 47-year-old Richard Wershe (WER’-she) was sentenced to life in prison for intending to deliver cocaine. Prosecutors say he’d stashed about 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) of the drug.

Wershe told Michigan parole board members on Thursday that he’s grown up and been rehabilitated in prison, saying he now knows “drugs destroy my community.”

No immediate decision was made on his parole request.

Wershe was 17 when he was caught with a load of cocaine. He says he had worked as an FBI informant and reported corrupt Detroit police officers but wasn’t given leniency.

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