A social media influencer was sentenced to 14 years in prison for plotting to hijack a website at gunpoint during a home invasion.
Meet Rossi Lorathio Adams II, 27 of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Adams posed for the mugshot above after he was arrested for his role in an armed plot to threaten a man in an effort to obtain a website domain name.
Adams, also known as “Polo,” founded a social media company called “State Snaps” in 2015 while he was enrolled as a student at Iowa State University.
The site’s content reportedly included video and photos of “young adults engaged in crude behavior, drunkenness, and nudity.” Followers of State Snaps used the slogan “Do It For State,” and Adams wanted to purchase the internet domain.
“At one time, Adams had over a million followers on his social media sites, which mostly contained images and videos of young adults engaged in crude behavior, drunkenness, and nudity,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Adams attempted to buy the doitforstate.com website in 2015 but he found it was already purchased.
According to prosecutors, The influencer made repeated efforts between 2015 and 2017 to obtain the domain name but the owner refused to sell the rights to doitforstate.com. Apparently Adams launched a plan to hijack the website, but his efforts have landed him in prison.
According to CNN:
In June 2017, Adams asked his cousin, Sherman Hopkins, Jr., to break into the domain owner’s home and threaten him at gunpoint until he complied. Adams drove his cousin, a convicted felon, to the house and provided him instructions on how to transfer the domain rights to his GoDaddy account.
“When Hopkins entered the victim’s home in Cedar Rapids, he was carrying a cellular telephone, a stolen gun, a taser, and he was wearing a hat, pantyhose on his head, and dark sunglasses on his face,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Adams was convicted in April for his role in the crime. He was was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats and violence, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa.
On Monday, Adams was sentenced by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams to 168 months in federal prison.
Crime doesn’t pay, but apparently the internet does as it was determined throughout the trial that Adams was still earning “significant amounts of money” while his case was pending, despite using a court-appointed attorney.
Adams income was taken into consideration during sentencing and the judge ordered him to pay back all of the funds.
As part of his sentence, Adams has been ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution, nearly $4,000 or prosecution costs and $22,000 in attorney fees.