A Tennessee Air National Guard officer is facing charges after applying to be a hitman on a fake “hitman-for-hire” website, according to the Department of Justice.
Josiah Ernesto Garcia, 21, was charged Thursday after posting a job inquiry on the website rentahitman.com, which is a parody site that features “testimonials” from allegedly satisfied customers.
The website was originally created in 2005 to “advertise a start-up cyber security company,” the Justice Department said in a news release. “The company failed, and over the next decade he received many inquiries about murder-for-hire services.”
Garcia indicated in February that he had “military experience and knowledge of rifles” and requested an “in-depth job description,” according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.
“Garcia followed up on that initial request and submitted other identification documents and a resume, indicating that he was an expert marksman and had worked in the Air National Guard since July 2021. The resume also indicated that Garcia was nicknamed “Reaper,” which was gained from his military and marksmanship experience, the Department of Justice said in the press release.
Garcia sent another follow-up email days later, saying he did not receive a response after submitting a resume, according to the complaint.
According to investigators, Garcia wrote in the email: “Why I want this job * I am looking for a good paying job related to my military experience (shooting and killing the marked target) so I can support my son along the way . What can I say, I love what I do, so if I can find a job that looks like this, (like this) coach me!”
After Garcia sent more follow-up emails, the website owner, under the direction of the FBI, responded with an email saying, “Josiah, a field coordinator will be in touch in the near future. You will receive a message when they are ready. Timing is based on customer needs,” according to the complaint.
On April 5, an undercover FBI agent contacted Garcia for a telephone interview, during which he asked, “How soon can I start?” and “How are the payments?” according to the complaint.
The undercover agent asked Garcia if he was comfortable taking fingers or ears as trophies or performing torture at the request of a client.
“If it’s possible and in my power to do it, I’m more than capable,” Garcia said, according to the complaint.
In a face-to-face meeting with the undercover agent on Wednesday, Garcia “received a ‘target package’ consisting of photographs and a description of the name, weight, age, height, address and employment information of a fictitious target,” he alleged . said
Garcia was told the target was the client’s husband, who was insulting her, and that the client was paying $5,000 for the job with a down payment of $2,500, according to the complaint.
“After agreeing to the terms of the murder deal, Garcia asked the agent if he should provide a photograph of the corpse,” according to the Justice Department statement. “Garcia was later arrested by FBI agents, who in a subsequent search of his home, recovered an AR-style rifle.”
Garcia is charged with using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, the Justice Department said.
Newssites.org was unable to reach Garcia’s attorney for comment. Garcia is due in court Tuesday afternoon.
Newssites.org has reached out to the Air National Guard for comment.