Social Media Influencer Sentenced to 14 Years for Devising Plan to Steal Domain Name at Gunpoint
According to court records, Adams had more than one million followers on his social channels at the height of State Snaps’ success
Social media influencer Rossi Lorathio Adams II has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in a plot to steal a domain name at gunpoint.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa announced Adams’ sentencing in a Monday after he was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats, and violence in April.
The case unfolded in 2015 when Adams — also known as “Polo” started a company called State Snaps while he was a student at Iowa State.
The company’s claim to fame was posting risqué images of wild-partying college students on its Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat feeds. Iowa State was not pleased, according to the United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Iowa, but Adams, now 27, continued posting, often using the hashtag #DoItForState.
According to court records, Adams had more than one million followers on his social channels at the height of State Snaps’ success. Though he already owned the DoIt4State.com domain, he wanted to buy DoItForState.com as well. The problem? The URL wasn’t for sale. When the Cedar Rapids-based owner of the domain refused to sell it, Adams hatched a violent plan to steal it instead, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office release.
Things took a turn in June 2017 when Adams asked his cousin Sherman Hopkins Jr. to break into the home of the domain-owner — identified only as “E.D.” in court filings — and try to steal the domain at gunpoint. Adams had found the owner’s address through GoDaddy registration records, according to the United State’s Attorney’s Office.
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The news release states that Adams had “provided Hopkins with a demand note, which contained instructions for transferring the domain to Adams’ GoDaddy account.”
Court records show that Hopkins was wearing pantyhose on his head, as well as a hat and sunglasses, and was carrying a stolen gun as well as a taser.
Upon entering the victim’s home, Hopkins kicked down the bedroom door of the domain-owner, who had heard him break in and tried to hide. Hopkins ordered the victim to follow the instructions on the demand note before pistol-whipping him in the head and holding the gun to his head, the release states.
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The victim attempted to wrestle the gun away from Hopkins and was subsequently shot in the leg — but the victim also managed to shoot Hopkins in the chest multiple times before calling the police.
In addition to his 14-year sentence, Adams was also ordered to make nearly $9,000 in restitution as well as pay costs of prosecution, which totals to $3,957. He has also been ordered to repay the Court $22,000 in attorney fees, according to the United State’s Attorney’s Office.
Adams is currently being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he is transported to federal prison.
In 2018, Hopkins was sentenced to 20 years in prison.