Violent felon pleads guilty to gun, drug charges in federal court

By Terri Hill | February 12, 2019

A Pittsburgh man pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to drug and gun charges that are related to a 2015 shooting during a vigil being held for a victim of gun violence.

In connection with the guilty plea, Chance Rice, 26, admitted he was involved in two separate incidents involving guns.

The first incident occurred on Sept. 16, 2015, during a candlelight vigil in Homewood for rapper Anton Smith, who was shot to death in 2013.  Two children and one woman were wounded in the shooting.

A gun used in the shooting was given to Rice, who then gave the gun to a convicted felon.

The second incident started when Rice told his former girlfriend that he had recently been shot at and that she needed to buy a gun for her own protection. Rice quickly obtained possession of that gun.

Edgewood police found the gun during a traffic stop on Oct. 31, 2015. Rice fled in the vehicle and was a wanted fugitive until his Dec. 18, 2015 arrest.

Recorded jail calls include Rice telling others to make sure that an acquaintance puts the gun in his safe. On March 17, 2016, the acquaintance’s residence was searched by state parole agents, who located the gun in the acquaintance’s safe.

The third incident stems from Butler County Jail officials finding synthetic marijuana in Rice’s cell on July 10.  Rice admitted to possessing the drug to provide to other inmates.

Rice is scheduled to be sentenced on June 3. He is facing up to 50 years in prison, a fine of up to $2,500,000, or both.

Terri Hill can be contacted at


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