Social Media Influencer Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Failed Plot to Hijack Website Domain Name

Illustration for article titled Social Media Influencer Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Failed Plot to Hijack Website Domain Name
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It would appear that social media influencer Rossi Lorathio Adams II took the phrase “doin’ it for the ‘Gram” a little too literally.

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Adams was sentenced to federal prison on Monday. His crime? Oh, just attempting to strong-arm someone out of a website domain name—with a gun.

From NBC News:

Rossi Lorathio Adams II was found guilty for one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats, and violence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa. Adams plotted to intimidate the unnamed owner of a domain name and “hijack” the website, the attorney’s office said.

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If that sounds a bit extreme for some likes, let’s talk about how we got here.

In 2015, Adams launched the social media brand “State Snaps,” which is basically World Star Hip-Hop drenched in EDM and mayonnaise. He eventually built a platform of over a million followers, a majority of whom adapted the slogan, “Do It For State!” So in his efforts to demonstrate his business savvy, he attempted to purchase doitforstate.com.

Slight problem: it already had an owner who had no interest whatsoever in selling the domain name.

He then made repeated attempts between 2015 and 2017 to obtain it to no avail, so he did what any desperate entrepreneur hell-bent on going to jail would do: commit a crime.

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From NBC News:

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.

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Hopkins then allegedly pistol-whipped the victim several times before attempting to coerce the man at gunpoint to transfer the website’s ownership to Adams. But apparently the victim was about that action because he gained control of the gun, shot Hopkins in the chest, then called the police. In the struggle for the gun, the man was shot in the leg.

Adams was sentenced to 68 months in federal prison with three years of supervised release. He’s also been ordered to cough up $9,000 in restitution, help cover prosecution costs, and pay $22,000 for a court-appointed attorney.

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Hopkins’ current status regarding his criminal case is uncertain, but one thing is for sure: all this definitely wasn’t worth some extra Instagram followers.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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