- An Instagram influencer was sentenced to 14 years in jail after going to extreme lengths to get hold of a particular domain name online.
- Rossi Lothario Adams II, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, founded the social media company “State Snaps” in 2015 as a student at Iowa State University, which had more than 1 million combined followers.
- Adams tried to buy the domain name “doitforstate.com” for his company, but the owner wouldn’t sell.
- Adams then persuaded his cousin to hold the owner at gunpoint in a bid to force him to transfer the domain over.
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An Instagram influencer has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after going to extreme lengths to obtain a domain name.
Rossi Lothario Adams II, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was involved in a complex plot to obtain a domain name, which involved enlisting his cousin to hold the owner of the domain name at gunpoint and force him to transfer ownership.
Adams is the founder of social media company “State Snaps”, which operated on a range of social media platforms. He founded the firm as a student at Iowa State University.
The site largely showed images of students engaged in “crude behaviour, drunkenness, and nudity,” and once had more than 1 million combined followers on its social media platforms, according to the US Justice Department.
Adams then tried to obtain the domain name ‘doitforstate.com,’ between 2015 and 2017, according to the DoJ, as his followers often used the slogan ‘Do it for State!.”
But the owner of the domain, Ethan Deyo, would not sell it.
In June 2017, Adams persuaded his cousin, Sherman Hopkins Jr, to hold Deyo owner at gunpoint in an attempt to force him into handing over the domain name.
Adams gave Hopkins Jr a demand note which contained instructions for transferring the domain name over. It was thought to be the first time someone had tried to steal a domain name at gunpoint.
Hopkins Jr, according to the DoJ, entered Deyo’s home wearing a disguise of pantyhose on his head and dark glasses. He located Deyo, and held the gun to his head while ordering him to transfer the domain over.
Deyo managed to gain control of the gun after quickly turning to move the gun away from his head, and after a brief struggle in which he was shot in the leg, he shot Hopkins Jr several times in the chest and contacted the authorities.
Both Hopkins Jr and Deyo survived.
Adams has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison, while Hopkins Jr was last year sentenced to 20 years according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
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