Social media influencer Rossi Lorathio Adams II has been jailed for 14 years after being 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, who is also known as “Polo”, amassed a following of more than a million followers by sharing content of Iowa State University students partying on his website, Doit4thestate.com. The photos contained images of “young adults engaged in crude behaviour, drunkenness, and nudity,” according to a statement.
Wanting to expand his reach, Adams planned to buy Doitforthestate.com, however, the domain’s owner repeatedly refused to sell it to him over a period of two years.
With the domain owner unwilling to sell the site, Adams sought out and found the owner’s address via web-hosting company GoDaddy’s registration records. In June 2017, Adams drove his cousin Sherman Hopkins Jr to the home of the domain owner, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Hopkins, a convicted felon, broke into the man’s home disguised and attacked him, the statement said. Hopkins beat the man with a gun and ordered him to transfer the domain over into Adam’s name. As Hopkins pistol-whipped the owner’s head, the man was able to gain control of the gun.
During the struggle the owner was shot in the leg, however, he was able to shoot Hopkins multiple times in the chest and then call the police. Both men survived and Hopkins was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Adams initially had a court-appointed lawyer, however, he was ordered to repay the court £15,196 in legal fees when it later emerged he had continued to earn a significant amount of money while incarcerated.