27-Year-Old Influencer Sentenced to 14 Years for Trying to Steal Domain Name at Gunpoint

The social media influencer hired his cousin, a convicted felon, to assist him with the task.
Fabienne Lang

An Instagram influencer has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after he violently attempted to steal a man's website domain name at gunpoint. 

The U.S. Department of Justice made the announcement on Monday. 

The influencer, Rossi Lothario Adams II, 27, also known as 'Polo', was running a number of social media accounts, from Instagram to other platforms, under the name of State Snaps.

It all turned ugly when Adams tried to buy the domain name doitforstate.com.


Why did Adams want this domain name?

One of Adams' accounts on Instagram allegedly amassed around 1.5 million followers. What was everyone following? Risky and sexually explicit behavior of students at Iowa State University. 

Adams was keen to gain the website domain name of doitforstate.com, as his popular hashtag was #DoItForState. Unfortunately for Adams, the website domain name already belonged to a man living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Ethan Deyo. 

Over a two year period, between 2015 and 2017, Adams contacted Deyo requesting to buy his domain off him. Deyo had no intention of selling it, but at one point offered $20,000 if Adams was serious about purchasing it. 

Adams believed the amount to be too high, and instead of leaving it at that, Adams felt the need to pursue the matter through sheer intimidation. 

What did Adams do?

Soliciting the assistance of his cousin, Sherman Hopkins Jr., a convicted criminal, Adams hired him to go to Deyo's house and threaten him at gunpoint so that he would transfer the domain. 

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Hopkins agreed and upon arriving at Deyo's house, pistol-whipped him and even shot him in the leg once. 

Deyo then managed to gain control of the gun, shooting Hopkins numerous times in the chest before calling the police.

Both men survived the incident, and Hopkins was put in jail for 20 years earlier this year. 

Adams was only sentenced this week, convicted of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats, and violence.

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