The website, according to the FBI: RentAHitman.com.
But RentAHitman is a fake website whose owner relays tips about possible murders-for-hire to law enforcement. On Thursday, a day after FBI agents arrested him, Garcia was charged in the U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee with using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Nashville declined to comment. Court records don’t list an attorney for Garcia, who’s in custody, federal prosecutors said in court documents.
In 2005, Bob Innes created the website as he considered starting a business that would test companies’ online infrastructure for vulnerabilities to cyberattacks or “hits.” That idea didn’t go anywhere, but he kept the URL and created a “parody” website after people flooded the domain’s email with requests for professional killers.
A few years ago, Innes created a “Careers” page when some unorthodox job seekers sent inquiries about employment to the website’s general inbox. So, Innes added an online application form for those looking to become “a Field Operative with the best Problem Resolution organizations in the world.”
On Feb. 16, Garcia sent an inquiry about possible employment, highlighting his “military experience, and rifle experience” while requesting an “in depth job description,” the FBI said in a sworn affidavit. He allegedly gave his name, email address and phone number to Innes, or rather, his RentAHitman persona, Guido Fanelli, the fictional company’s CEO.
The next day, Garcia allegedly provided his home address and date of birth. He said he was “looking for employment” but having technical difficulties with the website, the affidavit says.
On Feb. 18, Innes asked him to provide a résumé and photos of himself and his driver’s license. A day later, he allegedly did what he was asked. In his résumé, Garcia indicated he’d served in the Air National Guard since July 2021 and that he had been awarded the designation of “Marksman Expert … for not missing a single bullseye on all of the targets and for shooting expert with 2 (or more) weapons,” the affidavit states.
Garcia allegedly included a flourish in his résumé; because of his marksmanship, he said he had earned a nickname — Reaper.
On Feb. 20, Garcia followed up with another email to tell Innes why he wanted to become a professional hit man, 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!”
On Feb. 23, he again asked about his application, saying he was hoping to schedule an interview, the affidavit states, and on March 13, he checked in once more.
After consulting with the FBI, Innes responded on March 16 as Fanelli, telling Garcia that “a Field Coordinator” would be in touch, court documents state.
On April 3, an undercover FBI agent texted the cellphone number that Garcia had sent to RentAHitman, the affidavit states. The agent said he was a recruiter for the company and they could schedule a phone interview.
On April 5, the agent called. First, he asked Garcia if he was at all involved with law enforcement, the affidavit states. No, allegedly Garcia told him, but he was in the Air National Guard. He would later say that he reports for military duty one weekend a month but is otherwise unemployed, according to the affidavit.
When the agent asked about taking “fingers or ears as trophies” or torturing a target, Garcia said that “if it’s possible and in my means to do so, I’m more than capable,” the affidavit says.
On April 6, the agent met Garcia at a restaurant in Nashville, the document states. He opened the conversation by telling Garcia he didn’t have to pursue the hit man gig and could walk away at any time, the affidavit says.
“You are locked in? This is what you want? Because it sounds like you have a lot going on,” the agent said, according to the affidavit. “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. 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 allegedly said he’d considered the psychological effects and made his peace with it, adding that while he preferred to kill people in another state, he was okay with killing some locals. When the agent asked if he could bear the burden of killing 50 targets if it meant making a lot of money, Garcia scoffed, according to the affidavit.
“That’s rookie numbers for the Reaper,” he allegedly said.
On Sunday, the agent texted him to say that a job was available — an “easy mark,” the FBI said. On Wednesday, the two met at a public park in Hendersonville, Tenn., where the agent allegedly gave Garcia photos and information about a fictional target. The agent told Garcia that he would be paid $5,000 to kill the abusive husband of their client, the affidavit says. He gave Garcia half of the money at the park, told him to make sure it was there and said they’d rendezvous in a week when he’d give him the rest, it states.
Garcia allegedly asked if he needed to take a photo of the man’s body to prove he’d finished the job.
Then, the FBI arrested him.
In an interview, Garcia allegedly told agents he’d been looking for work because his family couldn’t afford rent. He said that, on April 7, he had learned that he’d gotten a job and was supposed to start training on Monday, which caused him to have second thoughts about the assassin position, the affidavit says.
Even though he’d taken the cash, Garcia allegedly told the FBI that he was meeting up with the agent to tell him that he’d changed his mind. According to the affidavit, he said that, before his arrest, he planned to call the undercover agent when he got to his car, tell him the job was off and leave the cash on the curb for him to pick up.