Influencer jailed for plot to steal website at gunpoint

Joanna Estrada
December 11, 2019

Adams was sentenced to 14 years in prison yesterday after being convicted of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats and violence. The jury deliberated about an hour following a four-day trial.

Evidence showed Adams founded a social media company called "State Snaps" while he was a student in 2015 at Iowa State University. His social media accounts on platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter had over a million followers at one point, the statement said. Most of the site's content featured videos and pictures of 'young adults engaged in crude behavior, drunkenness and nudity, ' according to the justice department's news release seen by the Des Moines Register.

His followers used the slogan, "Do It For State!"

Between 2015 and 2017, Adams repeatedly tried to get the domain, but the owner wouldn't sell.

The situation escalated in 2017 when Adams enlisted his cousin, convicted felon Sherman Hopkins, Jr, who at the time lived in a homeless shelter, to break into Deyo's home. Adams told law enforcement that "he used to own the domain name" before the victim did, according to the trial brief. Hopkins shouted at the victim, who then ran into an upstairs bedroom and shut the door, leaning up against the door to stop Hopkins from entering. Hopkins pulled out Adams' demand note, which contained a series of directions on how to change an Internet domain name from the domain owner's GoDaddy account to one of Adams' GoDaddy accounts.

The owner fought back, getting shot in the leg before wrestling the gun from Hopkins - and shooting him "multiple times in the chest", the release said.

Hopkins, 44, survived and was last year sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to interference and attempted interference with commerce by threats and violence, the US Attorney's Office said.

U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams sentenced Adams to 168 months in prison and ordered him to pay almost $9,000 in victim restitution.

In addition to his 14-year sentence, Adams was also ordered to make almost $9,000 in restitution as well as pay costs of prosecution, which totals to $3,957. He was using a court-appointed attorney during the trail but it was later discovered that Adams was still earning "significant amounts of money" while his case was pending, the statement said.

He also was sentenced to three years of supervised release after prison.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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