Fake website RentAHitman.com has snagged another would-be killer-for-hire after a US soldier applied to be an assassin and accepted his first (fake) mission apparently believing it to be real.
Josiah Garcia, a Tennessee air national guardsman, was arrested after federal agents said he responded to an online ad through the parody website.
The site was originally created in 2005 to advertise a cybersecurity company that never took off. However, it received many inquiries over the years about murder-for-hire services, according to the affidavit. Eventually, the site administrator turned it into a parody site with fake testimonials, an intake form to request services and an application form to become a hired killer.
Garcia submitted an employment application on 16 February and sent several follow-up emails over the next month.
In one follow-up he added a section on “Why I want this Job”, according to the affidavit. “Im looking for a job, that pays well, related to my military experience (Shooting and Killing the marked target) so I can support my kid on the way. What can I say, I enjoy doing what I do, so if I can find a job that is similar to it, (such as this one) put me in coach!” it reads.
At the beginning of April, an undercover FBI agent claiming to be a “field coordinator” for the company reached out to Garcia.
Garcia told the agent he needed money and thought he would be good at killing people because of his military experience and because he was an excellent shot, according to a legal affidavit.
They spoke about the supposed job, including whether he was willing to torture people and cut off fingers or ears. Garcia responded positively. Asked why he wanted to get involved, Garcia told the agent that he was looking into civilian law enforcement but wanted to do something more exciting.
On Wednesday, Garcia met the agent in a park where the agent provided him with a fictional “target package”. The agent also paid Garcia $2,500, supposedly the first of two installments. Garcia was arrested the same day.
Garcia told agents after his arrest that he had not intended to go through with the contract killing. He said he just received a job offer at a Nashville medical center that he intended to take instead.
If convicted, Garcia faces up to 10 years in prison, according to a news release from the US attorney’s office for the middle district of Tennessee.