Air National Guardsman Charged In Murder-For-Hire Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee
Parody Website Nabs Would Be Assassin
NASHVILLE – A Hermitage, Tennessee, man is facing federal charges after meeting with an undercover FBI agent to culminate a deal to murder an individual for payment, announced U.S. Attorney Henry C. Leventis.
Josiah Ernesto Garcia, 21, was charged yesterday in a criminal complaint with the use of interstate facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.
According to the complaint, Garcia needed money to support his family and in mid-February began searching online for contract mercenary jobs and came across the website www.rentahitman.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. 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.
Garcia submitted an employment inquiry indicating that he was interested in obtaining employment as a hit man. Garcia followed up on this initial request and submitted other identification documents and a resume, indicating he was an expert marksman and employed in the Air National Guard since July 2021. The resume also indicated that Garcia was nicknamed “Reaper” which was earned from military experience and marksmanship. Garcia continued to follow up with the website administrator indicating that he wanted to go to work as soon as possible.
An FBI undercover agent then began communicating with Garcia who subsequently agreed to kill an individual for $5,000. On Wednesday, Garcia met the undercover agent at a park in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and was provided with a target packet of a fictional individual, which included photographs and other information about the individual to be killed, and a down payment of $2,500. After agreeing to the terms of the murder arrangement, Garcia asked the agent if he needed to provide a photograph of the dead body. Garcia was then arrested by FBI agents, who in a subsequent search of his home, recovered an AR style rifle.
If convicted, Garcia faces up to 10 years in prison.
This case is being investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brooke K. Schiferle is prosecuting the case.
The charge is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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Public Affairs Officer
Updated April 14, 2023