FBI nabs Air National Guardsman who applied as an assassin on a parody website

News & Politics

A Tennessee Air National Guardsman is facing federal charges after meeting with an undercover agent Wednesday to arrange a murder-for-hire, U.S. Attorney Henry C. Leventis announced Friday.

Josiah Ernesto Garcia, 21, was charged Thursday in a criminal complaint involving the use of interstate facilities in the commission of murder for hire.

Garcia’s status as an airman first class in the Air National Guard since July 2021 was confirmed by CBS News.

Garcia submitted an employment inquiry to a parody website called “rent-a-hitman” while searing for contract mercenary jobs to support his family back in February, according to the release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Tennessee.

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The opening page of the site warns readers against competing unsafe “marketplaces for carrying out nefarious deeds.” They claim, tongue-in-cheek, to offer services for people who are “tired of getting bullied” and say they can “make any troubled relationship disappear.”

To add to what would seemingly be readily apparent as a joke, the site boasts “100% compliance” with the obviously non-existent “Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964 (HIPPA).” Further, they provide testimonials from customers like “Laura,” who caught her husband cheating, but after availing herself of the site’s services, is “single again.”

Garcia, apparently unaware the site was a parody, applied for work on the site as a hired killer via a webform. A disclaimer on the bottom of the form currently notes “Due to contractual restrictions, Rent-A-Hitman is no longer affiliated with Diners Club, Kanye West, the Illuminati, Rudolph Giuliani, Alec Baldwin, Kyle Rittenhouse or Carole Baskin.”

Garcia followed up by submitting a resume and identification documents to the site, the DOJ says. His resume reportedly said he had earned the nickname “Reaper” from his military experience and marksmanship.

An undercover FBI agent began communicating with the young guardsman, who agreed to kill a person for the sum of $5,000.

When Garcia met the agent at a park in Hendersonville, Tennessee Wednesday, he received a packet of information about the fictional target along with a down payment of $2,500. Garcia agreed to the terms and inquired about whether he would need to provide a photo of the dead body.

After he was arrested, FBI agents searched his home and recovered an AR style rifle.

If convicted, Garcia will face up to 10 years in prison.

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