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Tennessee Air National Guardsman applied to be a hitman online, the FBI says. It was a spoof website and now he’s facing charges


A member of the Tennessee Air National Guard is facing charges after applying to become a hitman on a fake “hire a hitman” website, according to the Justice Department.

Josiah Ernesto Garcia, 21, was charged Thursday after submitting a job application to rentahitman.com, a parody site that includes “testimonials” from allegedly satisfied hitman clients.

The website was originally created in 2005 to “advertise a cybersecurity startup,” the Justice Department said in a press release. “The company went bankrupt, and over the next decade received numerous inquiries regarding murder-for-hire services.”

Garcia indicated in February that he had “military experience and rifle expertise” and requested a “detailed job description,” according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.

“Garcia followed up on this initial request and submitted other identification documents and a resume, indicating that he was an expert sniper and employed in the Air National Guard since July 2021. The resume stated also that Garcia was nicknamed “Reaper,” which was due to his military experience and marksmanship, the Justice Department said in the press release.

Garcia sent another follow-up email a few days later, saying he did not hear back after submitting his 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 that I can support my child going through road. What can I say, I love doing what I do, so if I can find a similar job (like this one), put me as a coach!

After Garcia sent more follow-up emails, the website owner – at the direction of the FBI – responded with an email saying: “Josiah, a field coordinator will contact you in the near future. You will receive a message when they are ready. The 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 “What do payments look like?” according to the complaint.

The undercover agent asked Garcia if he was comfortable with taking fingers or ears as trophies or performing torture at the request of a client.

“If it is possible and within my means to do so, I am more than capable,” Garcia said, according to the complaint.

During an in-person meeting with the undercover agent on Wednesday, Garcia “received a ‘target package’ consisting of photographs and a description of the agent’s name, weight, age, height, “address and employment information of a fictitious target,” according to the complaint. said.

Garcia was told that the target was the client’s husband, who was violent toward her, and that the client was paying $5,000 for the work with a $2,500 deposit, according to the complaint.

“After agreeing to the terms of the murder arrangement, Garcia asked the agent if he should provide a photo of the corpse,” according to the Justice Department statement. “Garcia was subsequently arrested by FBI agents who, during a subsequent search of his home, recovered an AR-style rifle.”

Garcia is accused of using interstate commerce facilities to commit murder for hire. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, the Justice Department said.

CNN was unable to reach Garcia’s attorney for comment. Garcia is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon.

CNN has reached out to the Air National Guard for comment.


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