A Nutley fire chief has now been charged by authorities after a YouTube group that targets suspected child predators caught him on tape admitting he was meeting a 14-year-old for sex in a shopping center parking lot.

OBL Nation live streamed one of its members meeting Henry Meola, 33, at a North Bergen shopping center on Dec. 7 and got him to admit he was meeting a teen for "some form of something sexual."

An investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office led to Meola being charged Friday with one count of second-degree luring and third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child.

Meola was arrested at his home in Nutley and was taken to the North Bergen Police Department. He was being held Friday at Hudson County Correctional Facility pending his first court appearance.

In a written statement, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez thanked law enforcement agencies for their help in the investigation but did not mention OBL Nation. Law enforcement discourages civilians from setting up their own sting operations for suspected child predators.

Meola's status as fire chief is not clear. He was appointed to the volunteer position in December 2020 by the Township Committee to a two-year term. No fire chief is listed on the township website.

On his LinkedIn page, Meola said he is an electrician, light board operator/programmer for Disney/ABC Television.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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