news 8 months ago

His Quest to Own a URL Took an Insane Turn

Newser — Kate Seamons

On Tuesday, Rossi Adams was sentenced to 14 years in prison. In a piece for One Zero delving into the backstory of his crime, Ian Frisch writes that Adams was undone by a thoroughly 21st-century "Achilles' heel": his desire to own a URL.

The domain name in question is www.DoItForState.com, and it was the last element the Cedar Rapids man felt he needed in his State Snaps empire. After dropping out of Iowa State University in 2014, Adams started building the State Snaps brand, a series of social media accounts that showcase videos of wild and debaucherous college kids at play—and "do it for State!" was the rallying cry shouted as the "dumb or salacious" behavior is filmed.

Adams became obsessed with the idea of owning the website—but it belonged to Ethan and Chris Deyo.

The brothers had picked up on the surging popularity of the State Snaps brand and grabbed the URL in January 2015 intending to use it to sell T-shirts and the like.

Ethan also lived in Cedar Rapids, and six months later, Adams met up with him and his brother to try to make a deal. A series of meetings followed, but nothing panned out.

Two summers later, a plan started percolating, one that culminated in an armed man with pantyhose on his head breaking into Ethan's home, forcing Ethan to his computer, and directing him to transfer the domain name to RJ_Mr_Adams123@yahoo.com.

Ethan inputted the info—then grabbed the gun and shot the intruder, who ended up being Adams' cousin, Sherman Hopkins. Hopkins flipped on Adams, who was arrested in September 2018 and later found guilty of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats, and violence.

(Read the full story to find out what happened to the URL.)

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