A suspect who attempted to apply for a job as a hit man on a parody website agreed to kill a target for $5,000, according to federal prosecutors in Tennessee.
Josiah Ernesto Garcia, of Hermitage, was charged with the use of interstate facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire on April 13, U.S. Attorney Henry C. Leventis said.
According to the complaint, Garcia, 21, was searching for contract mercenary jobs as a way to earn money for his family when he found the website www.rentalhitman.com,
“Originally created in 2005 to advertise a cyber security startup company, the company failed and over the next decade it received many inquiries about murder-for-hire services,” prosecutors said in a statement, noting, “The website’s administrator then converted the website to a parody site that contains false testimonials from those who have purported to use hit man services, and an intake form where people can request services. The website also has an option for someone to apply to work as a hired killer.”
Prosecutors alleged Garcia “submitted an employment inquiry indicating that he was interested in obtaining employment as a hit man” and provided the site with identification documents and a resume.
Garcia allegedly indicated “he was an expert marksman and employed in the Air National Guard since July 2021,” prosecutors said. “The resume also indicated that Garcia was nicknamed ‘Reaper’ which was earned from military experience and marksmanship.”
After applying, prosecutors said Garcia “continued to follow up with the website administrator indicating that he wanted to go to work as soon as possible.”
On April 12, prosecutors claimed Garcia met with an undercover FBI agent who he was communicating with and “agreed to kill an individual for $5,000.”
The pair met in a park in Hendersonville, Tennessee, where the agent provided Garcia with a down payment of $2,500 as well as “a target packet of a fictional individual, which included photographs and other information about the individual to be killed,” prosecutors claimed.
Prosecutors said after Garcia allegedly agreed to the terms of the hit and the exchange was made, FBI agents arrested him and recovered an AR-style rifle during a search of his home.
Garcia faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of the charge against him.
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