A network celeberity influential in social media circles has been jailed for 14 years for orchestrating a plan to violently coerce a stranger into giving up a domain name online, according to a U.S. Department of Justice announcement today. The network’s real name is Rossi Lorathio Adams II, and the net name is “Polo.”
When he was studying at Iowa State University, he registered and maintained a series of accounts on Instagram and other platforms. Since about 2015, Adams has operated and maintained these accounts, often posting highly dangerous or pornographic content, often featuring female college students. According to the Washington Post, Adams had more than 1.5 million instagram followers at the time.
But Adams wasn’t satisfied, finding that he didn’t have his own doitforstate.com site, a reference to the popular hashtag (“#DoItForState”) on social media, which is often used by internet red people to warm up up up for upcoming content in comments and headlines. The domain name was owned by Ethan Deyo, a personal owner of Cedar Rapids in the eastern Iowa city of U.S., and Adams and he did not have any intersections.
For the next two years, Adams tried to buy the domain name, but it failed because Deyo had no intention of selling it. On one occasion, Deyo did offer to sell the name to Adams for $20,000, but Adams thought the number was too high.
Instead of giving up the domain name, Adams used intimidation. He texted a friend of Deyo’s to send a handgun emoji, and once appeared in front of the friend’s door.
Eventually, in the summer of 2017, Adams used more intense tactics to intimidate face-to-face. He hired a cousin, sherman Hopkins (Jr.), a convicted felon, to break into Deyo’s home and threaten edgy to transfer his name at gunpoint.
Hopkins and Dayo then had a serious fight, in which Deyo was shot in the leg and picked up a handgun that had fallen from Hopkins and fired several shots in the chest. But in the end both survived.
Hopkins was eventually sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017 after pleading guilty to interfering with and attempting to interfere in business through threats and violence, according to Cedar Rapids Gazette. Adams, on the other hand, was convicted of force, threats and violent interference in business in a jury trial in April, and was not sentenced until this week.