A former Iowa State University student who founded #DoIt4State and got millions of followers has been convicted in a violent plot to steal an internet domain name. It led to the shooting of the domain name’s owner.
Rossi Lorathio Adams II, 26, of Cedar Rapids, was found guilty of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats, and violence. He was ordered to remain in custody until sentencing and faces up to 20 years in prison.
Adams founded State Snaps, better known as #DoIt4State, while attending Iowa State University in late 2014. It shares photos of young adults in crude behavior, drunkenness, and nudity. Together with “Do It For State Girls,” his Instagram accounts have more than 2 million followers.
Adams and his followers often use the slogan “Do It For State!” and, according to prosecutors, Adams sought to purchase the internet domain doitforstate.com from a man in Cedar Rapids. Between 2015 and 2017, Adams repeatedly tried to obtain the domain, but the owner refused to sell it.
When the owner’s friends began using the domain to promote concerts, Adams threatened one of the friends with gun emojis. But his efforts took a darker turn in June 2017, when Adams enlisted his cousin, Sherman Hopkins, Jr., to break into the owner’s home to force him at gunpoint to transfer the domain.
Soon thereafter, on June 21, Adams drove Hopkins, a convicted felon who was at the time living at a homeless shelter, to break into the owner’s home in Cedar Rapids. He also gave him a note with instructions to transfer the domain to Adams’ GoDaddy account.
Hopkins, who disguised himself with a hat, a pantyhose, and dark sunglasses, was armed with a stolen gun and taser, according to prosecutors. He entered the home but was detected by the victim, who fled into an upstairs bedroom and shut the door.
“Hopkins went upstairs and kicked the door open,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa said in a statement. “Hopkins grabbed the victim by the arm and demanded to know where he kept his computer.”
When the victim told Hopkins that he kept his computer in his home office, Hopkins forcibly moved the victim to the office, where he ordered him to turn on his computer. He then pulled out Adams’ demand note which contained a series of instructions on how to transfer an internet domain name.
“Hopkins put the firearm against the victim’s head and ordered him to follow the directions on the demand note. Hopkins then pistol whipped the victim several times in the head,” prosecutors said. This led to a struggle during which the victim was shot in the leg but managed to gain control of the gun. Hopkins was shot multiple times.
Adams faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release for arranging the plot. Hopkins was convicted at an earlier trial and was sentenced to 20 years in prison last June.