Twenty five years ago Richard Wershe was sent to prison for life with no hope of parole. He did not murder anyone, He did not commit a violent vicious crime. He worked for the government. A 14-year-old informant recruited as one of the DEA’s prized confidential informants. “I was just a kid when the agents pulled me out of high school in the ninth grade and had me out to three in the morning every night. They gave me a fake ID when I was 15 that said I was 21 so I could travel to Vegas and to Miami to do drug deals.”
Wershe is known by the more memorable moniker, White Boy Rick. Wershe was a baby-faced, blond-haired teenager who grew up in the middle class fringes of Metro Detroit in the 1980s. Around the time he hit puberty, he transformed into White Boy Rick, a prolific drug dealer and teenage prodigy in the cutthroat and vicious streets of the Motor City.
He ranked as high in the public imagination as such colorful Detroit drug heavyweights as the The Chambers Brothers, were a criminal organization heavily involved in the distribution of crack cocaine in the city of Detroit, Michigan during the 1980s. The brothers became notorious nationally when the Detroit Police Department confiscated video tapes of the brothers counting their laundry baskets full of money, and flaunting their excessive wealth.In the novel Warpath, by Jeffry Scott Hansen, the street gang, The Six-Mile Syndicate, is based loosely on The Chambers Brothers gang. In the 1991 film, New Jack City, the character, Nino Brown, is largely based on, and influenced by, the real life Detroit gang The Chambers Brothers. Brown had also made a name for the group as “Cash Money Brothers”. Also, The Chambers Brothers and family members: Randy Bridgeforth, Terrance Stewart, Damion “D.D.” Bridgeforth, and Anthony King, were known for having their own apartment building to move their drugs on E. Ferry Street in Detroit; in New Jack City, it was known as “The Carter”., Maserati Rick During the height of Detroit’s crack craze, Maserati Rick Carter reigned as the most recognized of all of the flashy, high rolling dealers in the motor city. None could match Rick’s flair for the dramatic an attribute he would display even in death. Rick Carter first came to the attention of local authorities when at the age of 18 he drew a conviction for receiving stolen property. It would be five years before Carter became a player in the cities drug trade. originally a small timer with big dreams Carter’s ascent began with the fall of Sylvester “Seal” Murray in 1982. Murray had been the prime source of cocaine, heroin and marijuana for scores of inner city dealers for more than a decade. Murray had been the chief supplier for Detroit’s first big time crack gang Y.B.I. The conviction of Murray along with the top leaders of Y.B.I provided a opportunity for ambitious young men such as Carter and his best friend Demetrius Holloway to move into position as the new generation of drug pushers. After 3 short years in the crack trade Maserati Rick controlled one of the most prominent networks operating on the east side. Carter and Holloway worked the east side peacefully along with other organizations run by Johnny Curry “whose wife Cathy was the niece of Detroit’s mayor Coleman Young,” the remnants of the crippled Y.B.I., gang and the Chambers brothers. Following the arrest and conviction of the Curry brothers and 6 of their top lieutenants in 1987, Rick and his partner Holloway began making overtures to secure the east side as their personal kingdom. One of the first steps in consolidating their power was to join forces with teenage drug supplier “White Boy” Rick Wershe while financing the organization of “Rockin'” Reggie Browns murder for hire troop under the umbrella of best friends. With Brown providing much-needed protection and muscle and Wershe providing a local source of product, Carter began expanding his operation by providing an alternative to his crack with heroin. Federal agents took note of Carter’s frequent trips to Florida and Los Angeles in an attempt they claim to secure a steady supply source. Carter’s operation took off allowing him to live and spend lavishly. Carter listed his home address as a bungalow on Birwood Avenue in northwest Detroit but he was known to have kept residence in at least two other locations in the last four years of his life. These two locations were more in line with the image Carter was building for himself as the motor city king of crack. The first was a fortified flat near Alter road and E. Jefferson while the other a plush riverfront condo, provided Carter with a occasional getaway. To mask the proceeds of his drug operation, Carter invested millions in local businesses many of which were east side car washes or hair salons which served as drop off or pickup points for his runners. Investigator’s listed Carter as a kilo man in its reports on Detroit’s many traffickers meaning he dealt in 2.2 lb quantities of cocaine and heroin. This method of dealing signified his wealth and importance demonstrated by the fact that only the important traffickers and wealthy could afford to inventory such quantities without extreme financial difficulty. During his climb to prominence, Carter and his gang as one law enforcement official put it, ” made enough enemies to fill Tiger Stadium,” but none seemed more determined to destroy Carter than Edward Hanserd, a man who had once bought his marijuana from Maserati Rick. Following a heated argument over a debt owed to Carter in Hanserd’s Unisex Hair Salon during the summer of 1987, the two became bitter enemies. Carter and Hanserd publicly squared off on numerous occasions usually resulting in an exchange of automatic gunfire between the combatants. The initial war of words drew the attention of newsmen who wrote often of the exploits of both men whose penchant for violence coupled with a preference for automatic weaponry posed a grave danger to the general public. As Hanserd built and organization which began to cut into the profits of Carter and best friends the upstart was marked for termination a fact best demonstrated by an impromptu meeting which resulted in a wild shootout between the two dealers and a couple of their soldiers which left Hanserd with a nasty scar across his abdomen the result of a wound he received from a confrontation with Carter and his forces. Maserati Rick would try at least three times to kill the troublesome Hanserd without success. The failure of Carter to eliminate Hanserd would be a fatal mistake after yet another conflict on September 10, 1988 outside of one of Carter’s businesses left Rick hospitalized with bullets in his stomach and one of Hanserd’s soldiers slightly wounded in the arm. Two days after the initial shooting the same man involved in the initial shooting entered room 307 at Mt. Carmel Mercey Hospital and fired at least one shot into the head and face of Maserati Rick. Carter was pronounced dead at 6:01 p.m. The next day police announced their prime suspect was Ricky Parker an associate of Hanserds who was fast establishing himself as the single most dangerous man on the eastside of Detroit. Just hours after the death of Carter, it was learned that another man whom he had been having a bitter feud with intended to call Rick as a defense witness in a trial he claimed was the result of a Carter initiated frame up. Following his murder the legend of Maserati Rick Carter received its finishing touches during a grand funeral in which he lay in a $16,000 silver coffin constructed to resemble a mercedes benz complete with spinning tires. Following the emotional services Maserati Rick Carter was laid to rest in Elmwood cemetery the final resting place of thousands of underworld figures including the royalty of Detroit’s powerful partnership., the notorious Best Friends,The Best Friends gang in Detroit was a contract based “black Mafia” hit squad and drug cartel..A kid that the FBI & DEA paid to fit in and turn in drug dealers. By the time he was 16, he was dating the beautiful black niece of the Mayor of Detroit Coleman Young. White Boy Rick had arrived.White Boy Rick helped law enforcement crack some of the most notorious drug crimes in Detroit.
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