A social media influencer was sentenced to 14 years in prison for inventing a program to force a stranger to give up a Web domain name, the US Department of Justice said today.
The influencer, Rossi Lorathio Adams II, was named Polo and, during his studies at Iowa State University, ran a number of accounts on Instagram and other platforms known as State Snaps. The accounts that Adams managed as of 2015 usually contained representations of risky or sexually explicit behavior, often with female students. According to the Washington Post, an account of Adams on Instagram had collected 1.5 million followers.
However, Adams was increasingly frustrated with not having mustforstate.com, a reference to a popular hashtag (“#DoItForState”) on social networks that the influencer often used in comments and captions to invoke the type of behavior he was talking about. Post millions of fans online later. The domain name with the slogan Adams actually belonged to a person from Cedar Rapids, Ethan Deyo, to whom Adams had no previous connection.
ADAMS REALLY WANT THE DOMAIN NAME SO THAT IT HAD A FELONY
Adams attempted to buy the domain name within two years, but ultimately failed because Deyo did not initially intend to sell it. At one point, Deyo suggested that Adams sell the name for $ 20,000, but Adams thought the amount was too high. Instead of giving up his search for mustforstate.com, Adams turned to bullying. He sent one of Deyo’s friends a rifle emoji by SMS and also appeared once in front of the man’s door.
Finally, in the summer of 2017, Adams decided to attempt a more violent personal intimidation. He ordered his cousin, a convicted felon named Sherman Hopkins Jr., who was living in a homeless shelter, to break into Deyo’s home and threaten him with a firearm. transfer the name. Hopkins showed up with a Taser gun and a man’s gun, wearing tights on his head and black sunglasses on his face. Hopkins also had a list of detailed instructions on how Deyo could convey the name to Adams.
But in what looks like the culmination of a dark Coen Brothers comedy, Deyo Hopkins struggled with the gun after being shot in the leg, forcing him to shoot Hopkins several times in the chest. Both men survived.
Hopkins was finally sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2017 to intervening in the trade for threats and violence. This is apparent from an article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Adams was sentenced last April in a conspiracy lawsuit aimed at disrupting trade through violence, threats and violence. He has just been sentenced this week.
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