NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a story that sounds like it was ripped from the pages of a thriller novel, 21-year-old Josiah Ernesto Garcia, a member of the Tennessee National Guard, finds himself facing federal charges after an alleged attempt to secure a hitman position via the bizarre and deceptive website Rent-A-Hitman.
According to a riveting criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Garcia’s unusual odyssey began when he reached out to the Rent-A-Hitman website on February 16. In his application, he highlighted his military experience and rifle expertise, expressing a keen interest in embarking on a career as a contract killer.
What Garcia didn’t realize was that the website, originally launched in 2005 to promote a cybersecurity startup that ultimately never materialized, had taken a bizarre turn of its own. Over the years, it had received numerous murder-for-hire inquiries.
Jokes about the matter
In response, the site’s administrator transformed it into a parody site, featuring outlandish fabricated customer testimonials, a tongue-in-cheek service request form, and an application section for aspiring hitmen.
In one comically absurd fake testimonial, a supposed client gushes, “Caught my husband cheating with the babysitter and our relationship was terminated after a free public relations consultation. I’m single again and looking to mingle. Thanks Guido and RENT-A-HITMAN!”
The website owner, adopting the persona of “Guido Fanelli, CEO of Rent-A-Hitman,” requested Garcia’s resume, headshot, and ID image after receiving his application. Garcia’s resume exposed his Air National Guard membership since July 2021 and showcased his skills as a “Marksman Expert.”
Over the course of an email exchange with the website owner, who was acting under FBI instruction, Garcia agreed to a phone interview with an undercover FBI employee. In the call, Garcia allegedly admitted he would be open to collecting fingers or ears as trophies or engaging in torture if requested by a client.
When asked about his motivations for seeking such a sinister role, Garcia reportedly responded, “Being in the military, doing that sort of work already. I was looking into civilian law enforcement, but that’s not for me. I wanted to do something more exciting,” as per the complaint.
Another twist in the plot
The story takes an even more unexpected twist as Garcia met with the undercover agent at a Nashville restaurant, where he reiterated his determination to join the ranks of hitmen. A few days later, he received a text message from the agent about a job opportunity.
The undercover agent provided Garcia with a “target packet” during a rendezvous at a park in Hendersonville, Tennessee. This packet contained details about a fictitious target, along with a $2,500 downpayment.
The total payment for the contract killing was set at $5,000. Authorities report that Garcia inquired about the necessity of photographing the deceased as evidence of job completion before the FBI swooped in and arrested him.
In the aftermath of his arrest, Garcia allegedly revealed to investigators that he was driven by financial desperation, as his family struggled to pay rent. He claimed that he had second thoughts about the hitman role after securing another medical job on April 7. He insisted that he was meeting with the agent to inform him of his change of heart. However, despite his claims, Garcia is believed to have broken federal law.
On April 13, the Department of Justice announced that Garcia was charged with using interstate commerce facilities to commit murder-for-hire. If found guilty, this strange and twisted saga could result in Garcia facing up to 10 years in prison.
As this astonishing tale continues to unfold, one can only wonder about the series of events that led both Garcia and the website owner down such a bizarre and unexpected path. The Rent-A-Hitman website, initially intended to promote a cybersecurity startup, morphed into a parody site due to the flood of inquiries related to murder-for-hire services. This transformation set the stage for an encounter that would change Garcia’s life forever.
As the story captures public attention, it raises questions about the allure of the hitman underworld and the factors that may have influenced Garcia’s decision to pursue this dangerous and illegal occupation. It also highlights the importance of internet safety, as deceptive websites can lead unsuspecting individuals into unanticipated situations with potentially severe consequences.
Furthermore, the case sheds light on the struggles that many individuals and families face in the current economic climate. While financial hardship does not excuse illegal actions, understanding the context of Garcia’s motivations may provide insights into the systemic issues that could contribute to desperate decisions.
As the legal proceedings continue, the full extent of Garcia’s involvement in this peculiar hitman job pursuit will come to light. The case serves as a cautionary tale for those who may be tempted to explore the darker side of the internet or engage in illegal activities. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on Garcia’s life and may serve as a deterrent for others considering such a dangerous and illicit path.
In the end, the astonishing journey of Josiah Ernesto Garcia and his bizarre attempt to become a hitman through the Rent-A-Hitman website serves as a reminder of the unexpected turns that life can take.
As the case unfolds, the public will undoubtedly remain captivated by this incredible story and the eventual fate of the National Guard soldier who found himself entangled in the hitman underworld.