The influencer behind a college-centric social media empire was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison on Monday after he ordered his cousin to hold up a man at gunpoint for a domain name.
Rossi Lorathio Adams II, now 27, founded his social media company "State Snaps" while he was an Iowa State University student in 2015. His series of social accounts gained millions of followers by featuring images of a party-hard university culture and nudity. The Washington Post reports that “Do it for State!” was the catchphrase of Adams' company.
And it turns out, Adam would do anything for “State Snaps.”
According to the Justice Department, he tried to purchase the domain name “doitforstate.com"—but found that it was owned by a Cedar Rapids, Iowa resident named E.D. Between 2015 and 2017, Adams tried and failed to woo E.D. into selling the domain but the owner wouldn't budge.
E.D. allegedly offered to sell it to Adams for $20,000, but Adams refused his price. One of E.D.'s friends started to use the domain to promote concerts, and they were threatened by Adams with gun emojis. In May 2017, Adams managed to track down E.D.'s address through the website's domain listing on GoDaddy.com and went there in person.
“I’m here for the name whatever it takes,” Adams allegedly told E.D.'s brother, according to the Post. “I’m not leaving without it.”
He left E.D.'s home without the domain, and decided to turn to violence. In June 2017, Adams enlisted his cousin—Sherman Hopkins, Jr.—to break into E.D.'s home and force him to transfer over the domain name ownership to his GoDaddy account.
Hopkins broke into E.D.'s home on July 21, 2017 armed with a stolen gun, taser, and a demand note with instructions for the GoDaddy transfer. E.D. was ordered to go to his office, turn on his computer, and follow the note's instructions while Hopkins held a gun to his head. However, E.D. managed to gain control of the gun in a struggle with Hopkins and shoot him multiple times in the chest. E.D., who was shot in the leg, then called 911.
Hopkins survived his injuries, and Adams was apprehended by law enforcement soon after. Both men were charged with one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats, and violence, and Hopkins was sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty.
The domain Adams managed to buy for his company—doit4state.com—is still active. The website does not link to any "State Snaps" social media accounts.