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Air National Guardsman arrested after applying to act as hitman, FBI says

A 21-year-old Air National Guardsman from Tennessee is facing federal charges after sending his resume to a site with a bad name — because he said he needed the money to support his family, court documents say..

The FBI alleges that Josiah Ernesto Garcia used a site called “Rent-A-Hitman” to apply for jobs as an assassin. Garcia was arrested by an undercover agent at a park in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on Wednesday, according to a news release.

It’s the latest in a string of reported arrests linked to the website, originally created in 2005 to advertise a cybersecurity startup company that never took off. Instead, it became a parody site—complete with fake testimonials, a request form, and a job application for aspiring hitmen.

Founder Bob Innes told People magazine in November 2022 that at least 30 people had been arrested after being questioned about hiring a hitman. The website is currently maintained by an administrator for the state of California, according to the criminal complaint.


A screengrab of the “Rent-A-Hitman” site linked to arrests for multiple alleged murder-for-hire plots.


According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Garcia began “looking for work” as an assassin in February. Garcia first asked the website administrator for a job description and later included his correct address and date of birth.

The website’s administrator responded, asking for a copy of Garcia’s resume, headshot and identification. Garcia’s resume indicates that he was an expert marksman and had served in the Air National Guard.

The Air National Guard confirmed to CBS News that Garcia joined in July 2021 as an Airman First Class.

Garcia was apparently given the nickname “Reaper,” which was “acquired from military experience and marksmanship.” When there was no answer, Garcia followed up repeatedly with the administrator — saying he was eager to start working as soon as possible.

At the FBI’s behest, the administrator responded with an email to Garcia; “Josiah, a field coordinator will be in touch in the near future. You will receive a message when they are ready. Scheduling is based on client needs.”

An undercover FBI agent then called the suspect in April. When asked why he wanted to do it, Garcia replied that he wanted to do something similar to what he was already doing. He said he wanted a flexible schedule because he plans to attend college next year, the criminal complaint said.

“I was looking at civilian law enforcement but it’s not for me,” he told the agent, according to the criminal complaint. “I wanted something more exciting.”

When the two met in person, the agent told Garcia multiple times that he didn’t have to. His alleged response?

“I’ve been looking for this for a while. I was looking for a way to make good money,” he said.

He would eventually agree to kill a man for $5,000. On Wednesday, Garcia met with the undercover agent at a park and was provided information on a fictitious person, along with photographs and a $2,500 down payment.

After agreeing to the terms of the killing arrangement – ​​including payment terms and target detailsGarcia asked the agent if he needed to provide a photo of the body.

He was then arrested by FBI agents. After his arrest, Garcia said he was looking for work because his family couldn’t pay the rent, court documents said.

Garcia was charged with using interstate facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

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Michael Roppolo

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