A Tennessee Air National Guard agent is facing charges after applying to be an assassin on a fake hitman-for-hire website, according to the Department of Justice.
Josiah Ernesto Garcia, 21, was charged Thursday after he posted a job inquiry on the website rentahitman.com, which is a parody site that includes “testimonials” from supposedly satisfied customers.
The website was originally created in 2005 to “advertise a cybersecurity startup company,” the Justice Department said in a press 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 rifle expertise” and requested a “detailed job description,” according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.
“Garcia complied with this initial request and submitted other identification documents and a resume indicating that he was an expert marksman and employed in the Air National Guard as of July 2021. The resume also indicated that Garcia was nicknamed ” Reaper,” which was drawn from his military background and character, the Justice Department said in the news release.
Garcia sent another follow-up email a few days later, saying he didn’t hear back 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 (target shooting and killing) so that I can I can support the child on the way. What can I say, I love what I do, so if I can find a job like it, (like this one) coach me!”
After Garcia sent several follow-up emails, the site’s owner — at the direction of the FBI — responded with an email saying, “Josiah, a field coordinator will be contacted 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 “What do the payments look like?” according to the complaint.
The undercover agent asked Garcia if he liked to take fingers or ears as trophies or perform 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.
In an in-person meeting with the undercover agent on Wednesday, Garcia “was presented with a ‘target package’ consisting of photographs and a description of the name, weight, age, height, address and employment information of a fictitious target,” the complaint says. said.
Garcia was told the target was the client’s husband, who was abusive to her, and that the client was paying $5,000 for the job with a $2,500 down payment, the complaint said.
“After agreeing to the terms of the murder plea, Garcia asked the agent if he needed to provide a photograph of the body,” according to the Justice Department statement. “Garcia was then 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 to commit murder on his own account. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, the Justice Department said.
CNN could not 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.