Desperate criminal holding jail bars feeling regret for committing crime closeup
You may not be familiar with Rossi Lorathio Adams II but if you were in college between 2015 and 2018 — or shortly removed from it and still enamored by the lifestyle — you likely ran into State Snaps or heard the phrase “Do it for state.” For the better part of three years, Adams’ State Snaps account, founded while he was at Iowa State University, documented all sorts of college debauchery. Adams racked up more than 1.5 million followers along the way, but his operate came to a halt following a botched attempt to hijack the domain name doitforstate.com at gunpoint. More than two years after the failed theft attempt, Adams was sentenced today to serve 14 years in federal prison, according to the United States Department of Justice.
Adams started his State Snaps account while he was in college. Operating on Instagram and Twitter, but doing the largest portion of its posting on Snapchat, State Snaps allowed students to submit clips and photos of their most outrageous behavior. Content that appeared on the State Snaps feed included a considerable amount of drunken behavior, drug use and nudity. Many of the submissions sent to the account included someone saying the mantra “Do it for state,” sometimes shortened to “DIFS.” The concept carried plenty of the concerns that other types of anonymous submission sites like the revenge porn-focused Is Anyone Up? carried — while the content was largely user submitted, it wasn’t always clear if everyone in it was consenting for their activities to be shared publicly. Despite that — and the objections of Iowa State University administrators who attempted to get the accounts shut down — Adams managed to rack up more than 1.5 million followers on his State Snaps accounts and likely had considerable amount more across school-specific spin-off accounts.
The one thing he didn’t have was the domain name doitforstate.com. That belonged to a Cedar Rapids resident who registered the domain with GoDaddy. Adams wanted the site, and attempted to purchase it from the domain holder multiple times between 2015 and 2017 according to the Department of Justice, but the domain owner had no interest in selling.
Unable to buy the domain outright, Adams decided to try to steal doitforstate.com from its owner. He recruited his cousin, who already had a felony on his record and was living in a homeless shelter at the time, to break into the domain holder’s home and threaten him at gunpoint to give up the website.
On June 21, 2017, Adams drove his cousin to the owner’s house, gave him a demand note with instructions on how to transfer ownership of the domain to Adams’ GoDaddy account. Adams’ cousin entered the domain holder’s home with a cellphone, stolen gun and taser in hand while wearing a hat, pantyhose over his head and dark sunglasses to cover his eyes. The domain holder, upstairs in his home, spotted the intruder at the bottom of the steps and tried to lock himself in his room. Adams’ cousin kicked open the door, grabbed the domain holder by the arm and demanded access to his computer. He placed the gun to the man’s head and told him to follow the directions in the note provided by Adams. The intruder hit the domain holder in the head multiple times with the pistol, which resulted in the domain holder entering into a struggle to gain control of the gun. He was shot in the leg during the struggle, but took possession of the firearm and shot Adams’ cousin in the chest multiple times before calling the police.
Adams’ cousin received a 20 year jail sentence last year. It wasn’t clear at the time what domain he was after at the time, but the Department of Justice eventually charged Adams for his role in the crime, revealing the full details of the situation. Adams received a 14-year jail sentence from a federal court in Iowa. He will also have to pay nearly $9,000 in restitution, including $1,477.60 to the victim and domain holder. Most remnants of the State Snaps accounts have disappeared from the internet and have been suspended by Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter for violating terms of service. Adams’ sentencing seems to close the chapter on the brief run of the Do It For State movement.