A social media influencer Rossi Lorathio Adams II has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for plotting to steal a domain name at gunpoint.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, Adams on Monday received the sentence after he was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats, and violence.
In 2015, Adams — also known as “Polo” started a social media company called “State Snaps” while he was a student at Iowa State University.
At the peak of his success, his social media accounts on platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter had over a million followers at one point, the statement said. The site’s content included video and photos of “young adults engaged in crude behaviour, drunkenness, and nudity,” according to the statement. Followers of State Snaps used the slogan “Do It For State,” and Adams wanted to purchase the internet domain doitforstate.com to expand his company, the statement said.
Adams already owned the DoIt4State.com domain however he wanted to buy DoItForState.com to expand his company.
The domain owner, an unnamed Cedar Rapids resident refused to sell it multiple times between 2015 and 2017. Adams then devised a plan to steal it instead, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office release.
In June 2017 when Adams asked his cousin Sherman Hopkins Jr. to break into the home of the domain-owner. According to the United State’s Attorney’s Office, Adams had found the owner’s address through GoDaddy registration records.
Hopkins, a convicted felon, broke into the man’s home with a cell phone, stolen gun and taser while wearing pantyhose on his head and dark sunglasses, the statement said. Hopkins had with him a demand note from Adams which contained instructions for transferring the domain to Adams’ GoDaddy account.
Hopkins kicked down the bedroom door of the domain-owner. Hopkins then 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.
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.