A social media influencer has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after unsuccessfully attempting to obtain a domain name by force. The influencer was attempting to differentiate his company by giving it a unique domain name, and wasn’t above using bullying and violence to get his way.
Rossi Lorathio Adams II, 27, is many things. He’s an Iowa native, a social media influencer, and, now, a violent criminal. The influencer attempted to “hijack” the domain name for his company, State Snaps, by having the rightful owner threatened at gunpoint. The incident left two in the hospital, and Adams has now been sentenced to fourteen years in prison.
While Adams was enrolled at Iowa State University, he created the company State Snaps as a way to profit off of raucous partying and wild college nights. The company hosted Snapchat videos and clips of college students being drunk, nude and generally over-the-top. Adams used the catchphrase “do it for State!” to promote the company’s brand.
So, naturally, Adams wanted to capitalize on his growing company and popular catchphrase. He looked into obtaining the rights to the domain name “doitforstate.com” but found its owner was unwilling to sell. Not taking no for an answer, Adams went on to harass the owner for two years, constantly haranguing him over the domain name.
In June of 2017, Adams grew tired of the resistance, so he had his cousin, Sherman Hopkins, Jr., break into the owner’s home and threaten him at gunpoint. Things got seriously out of hand from that point. Hopkins entering the home alerted the owner, who ran upstairs and slammed the door shut.
Hopkins broke into the upstairs room and threatened the owner at gunpoint, giving him detailed instructions on how to transfer the domain name. Fearing for his life, the domain owner lashed out, fighting his attacker and taking a bullet in the leg.
The owner managed to get control of the gun and shot Hopkins several times in the chest before calling 911. Hopkins survived, however, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Adams, for his part, is going to be serving 14 years for charges including conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force and threatening violence.