The 26-year-old founder of the popular Do It For State Instagram account, which has 1.5 million followers, was convicted by a jury in Iowa last week of conspiring to steal a man's similar web domain by holding him at gunpoint in 2017.
Rossi Lorathio Adams II, who founded the company State Snaps and its social media pages while attending Iowa State University in 2015, is facing a possible maximum sentence of 20 years, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Adams has been convicted of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats, and violence. According to the press release, Adams enlisted his cousin, Sherman Hopkins Jr., to try to force a stranger to turn over the web domain doitforstate.com by holding him at gunpoint two years ago.
Adams owns the similar doit4state.com. He repeatedly attempted to purchase rights to the GoDaddy-backed doitforstate.com domain that was owned by a man in Cedar Rapids.
However, the man refused to sell the URL. On one occasion, Adams "threatened one of the domain owner’s friends with 'gun emojis,'" said the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa.
State Snaps touts itself as "the authority on partying, college life and having fun," according to its Instagram page. The company created the phrase "do it for state" to brand its stunty, crude, and sexual videos and posts. The owner's alma mater has publicly stood against the objective of the company and its social media content.
In fact, Adams' insistence on "continuing to operate his social media sites despite the objections of Iowa State University administrators and the policies of the social media platforms" was used as evidence against him at trial.
According to the DOJ, in June 2017, Adams drove Hopkins to the domain owner's home with a note demanding he transfer his GoDaddy account over.
"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 DOJ said.
Hopkins pointed the gun at the victim's head and forced him to his computer to complete the demand. Somehow during the ordeal, the victim "managed to gain control of the gun, but during the struggle, he was shot in the leg."
The domain owner then shot Hopkins several times before calling the police. Exactly one year later, after his own trial, Hopkins was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Since Adams' conviction on Thursday, he's been taken into custody by US marshals and will remain in custody until his sentencing. Along with 20 years in prison, he also could face a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.
The attorney for Adams did not immediately return a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.