An Air National Guardsman was arrested after allegedly applying to be a hitman online
Federal prosecutors say they've nabbed a would-be hitman after he submitted a job application to a website he believed let people hire assassins for pay.
The FBI announced that Josiah Ernesto Garcia of Hermitage, Tenn., has been charged with use of interstate facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.
If convicted, the 21-year-old could face up to a decade in prison.
According to prosecutors, Garcia was looking for paying jobs to support his family and in mid-February began scouring the internet for work as a contract killer.
That was when he found the website www.rentahitman.com.
The FBI says the site was created in 2005 to advertise a cyber security startup, but after the company failed and the site received inquiries about contract killings, its administrator converted it into a parody page.
The still-active website — which advertises that it's "safe and secure" and includes testimonials from fake clients — allows users to both engage the services of a hitman and apply to become a hired killer.
Prosecutors say Garcia applied to become a hitman and then submitted additional identification documents and a resume, which indicated that he had been in the Air National Guard since July 2021 and that he'd earned the nickname "Reaper" from his military service and expert marksmanship.
He later began communicating with someone and agreed to kill a person for $5,000.
The person he was talking to turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, who met Garcia in a Hendersonville, Tenn., park on Wednesday and gave him materials about the fictional target, including photographs, as well as a $2,500 down payment.
Garcia agreed to the terms of the hit and then allegedly asked if he needed to provide a photo of the dead body. He was then arrested by FBI agents.
Investigators who later searched Garcia's home said they found an AR-style rifle.
It was unclear if Garcia was being represented by an attorney.
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