Feds: Man Applied to Be Hit Man at Parody Site

Air National Guardsman was arrested after meeting undercover FBI agent
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2023 12:50 PM CDT
National Guardsman Allegedly Applied to Be Hit Man
Garcia told the site administrator he was an expert marksman, authorities say.   (Getty Images/Artem Zakharov)

Jake Teixeira isn't the only 21-year-old Air National Guardsman facing criminal charges. Tennessee's Josiah Ernesto Garcia was arrested last week after he allegedly offered his services to Rent-a-Hitman.com, unaware that it is a parody site whose owner contacts law enforcement when it looks like requests could be real, the Washington Post reports. Authorities say Garcia submitted his details to the site, saying he was an expert marksman who had been employed in the Air National Guard since July 2021, reports USA Today. He allegedly told the website administration his nickname was "Reaper" and he wanted to get to work as soon as possible.

According to a press release from the US Attorney's Office, "an FBI undercover agent then began communicating with Garcia who subsequently agreed to kill an individual for $5,000." Garcia was arrested after he met the undercover agent in a park last Wednesday, "was provided with a target packet of a fictional individual, which included photographs and other information," and accepted a down payment of $2,500, the release states. FBI agents recovered an AR-style rifle after searching Garcia's home. Court papers state that in a meeting in a Nashville restaurant almost a week before the arrest, the undercover agent told Garcia he could walk away any time and warned that shooting people "messes with your mind," the Post reports.

An affidavit states that the agent told Garcia: "You are locked in? This is what you want? Because it sounds like you have a lot going on. You’re in the military. You’ve got college." According to the affidavit, when Garcia was asked if he would be able to kill as many as 50 people, he boasted, "That’s rookie numbers for the Reaper." Garcia, who told investigators he needed money to support his family, has been charged with use of interstate facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. (In 2021, a Michigan woman was arrested after trying to use the parody site to find somebody to kill her husband.)

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