A Tennessee Air National Guardsman who called himself “the Reaper” is now reaping the consequences of his actions after attempting to find work on a website for hitmen.

Josiah Ernesto Garcia was arrested Wednesday, April 12, charged by the Department of Justice with trying to find work as a hitman. Garcia, 21, marketed himself to as a skilled murderer for hire, citing his marksmanship skills from his service in the Tennessee Air National Guard.

One problem: is not a real business. Initially set up as a cybersecurity site in 2005, it became a fake job listing page for murder for hire, with the site’s owner passing along tips to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. 

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According to the Department of Justice, Garcia was looking for work in order to support his family and sought mercenary employment. He found and reached out about potential work on Feb. 16. He put his military service as a qualification. Garcia has been a part of the Tennessee Air National Guard since 2021. Garcia, the Department of Justice alleges, reached out repeatedly to the website’s administrator, hoping to hear back about work as a hitman. That’s when the Federal Bureau of Investigations got involved.

After just over a month, an undercover FBI agent reached out to talk. Garcia, the affidavit said, told the undercover agent that his job with the National Guard there consists of serving one weekend a month. He has no other job. 

Speaking to federal investigators after his arrest, the court affidavit says, Garcia said that a co-worker in the Tennessee Air National Guard was the one to suggest he seek out mercenary jobs as a way to make additional money. That co-worker was not identified. 

The Tennessee Air National Guard did not immediately respond to Task & Purpose’s query on Garcia and his service.

Garcia did not appear to suspect that was not a legitimate site for would-be hitmen. He met with the undercover agent on April 6 to discuss potential murder jobs and to see if he was qualified enough for them. The FBI agent asked him if he was sure.

“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. You’ve got a lot going on, as far as good things in your life to kinda’ get in this world,” the agent asked, per the affidavit. “It is a shady world, and I just don’t want you to have regrets if you come to work for us, because it, I mean it messes with your mind, shooting people.” 

Garcia showed no deep hesitation, saying he was okay with it, although he preferred if the jobs took him out of state. In the course of his attempts to sell himself as a hitman, Garcia said that he had earned the nickname “Reaper” during his time in the National Guard. So when the undercover agent said killing 50 people could be financially lucrative, Garcia said “That’s rookie numbers for the Reaper.” 

At the end of the meeting, Garcia, who again sought out work as a hitman on a site called, told the undercover agent “My only question is when can I start?”

That confidence was short-lived. The next day, Garcia was hired for a job at a medical facility at Vanderbilt. He planned on returning money he’d been given and telling his contact that he, “the Reaper,” did not want to be a hitman any more.  

He was arrested on April 12. 

Garcia faces 10 years in prison if convicted. 

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