KID ROCK Speaks Out In Support Of Imprisoned Drug Kingpin

February 17, 2003

KID ROCK is advocating parole for Richard Wershe Jr., an imprisoned drug kingpin who became a familiar figure on Detroit-area nightly news in the late 1980s under the name White Boy Rick, according to Detroit Free Press. "With Rick and I coming from the same type of background, I feel he would be able to help youths from making the same mistakes he did by reaching out to them and telling them the story of how drugs ruined his life," Kid wrote to the Michigan Parole Board.

The federal authorities are grateful to Wershe for help in a series of police corruption cases.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Helland told the parole board a number of prosecutions "would not have been possible" without Wershe's help, and that if he had been sentenced under federal guidelines, he would have earned a substantial reduction in time.

Wershe has been in protective custody in the federal prison system since the early 1990s.

Rock, who included White Boy Rick in the lyrics of a 1993 song, said he wanted to speak at the parole hearing, which will be held in Plymouth, Michigan next Thursday (Feb. 20).

The federal authorities are grateful to Wershe for help in a series of police corruption cases.

Karen Woodside, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor, said she is certain to be at the hearing. And she said the position of her office will be unequivocal — no way should Wershe be freed.

Convicted of possession with intent to deliver 17 pounds of cocaine, Wershe was the leader of an enterprise involved in murder, rape and drug overdoses, Woodside said.

"He is precisely the kind of person the . . . lifer law was designed to stop," she said.

"He was a major, major player, and he'll go right back to the same things . . . if they let him out."

Wershe's attorney Patrick McQueeney declined comment on the hearing, saying that "we don't want anything to be public about it."

Wershe's role as a white kingpin in a mostly-black criminal organization turned him into a media sensation that was fueled by serial accusations, counter-accusations and lawsuits between law enforcement and the Wershe family.

In other news, Kid Rock's "Cocky" has been certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales in excess of three million copies in the U.S. The collection moves up to Number Three on the Billboard 200 album chart thanks to the strength of his duet with Sheryl Crow, "Picture".

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