A social media influencer was sentenced to 14 years in prison for plotting to hijack a website at gunpoint during a home invasion.
Rossi Lorathio Adams II, 27, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the sentence Monday after he 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.
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. His social media accounts on platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter had over a million followers at one point, the statement said. The site’s content included video and photos of “young adults engaged in crude behavior, drunkenness, and nudity,” according to the statement. Followers of State Snaps used the slogan “Do It For State,” and Adams wanted to purchase the internet domain doitforstate.com to expand his company, the statement said.
Adams tried to convince a Cedar Rapids resident who had registered the domain with GoDaddy.com to sell it to him multiple times between 2015 and 2017, the statement said.
In June 2017, Adams drove his cousin, Sherman Hopkins Jr., to the home of the domain owner. Hopkins, a convicted felon, broke into the man’s home with a cell phone, stolen gun and taser while wearing pantyhose on his head and dark sunglasses, the statement said. He also had a note from Adams to the domain owner with directions on how to transfer the domain.
Hopkins held the gun to the domain owner’s head and pistol whipped him several times before the man was able to gain control of the gun. During the struggle, the man was shot in the leg before he shot Hopkins multiple times in the chest and then called police, according to the statement. Hopkins survived the shooting and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Adams was convicted in April and was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison Monday by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. He has been ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution, nearly $4,000 or prosecution costs and $22,000 in attorney fees as part of his sentence. He was using a court-appointed attorney during the trail but it was later discovered that Adams was still earning “significant amounts of money” while his case was pending, the statement said.
CNN’s Joe Sutton contributed to this report.