Disciplinary action has been taken against the Nutley volunteer fire chief who was reportedly caught up in a YouTube underage sex sting last week, authorities told The Observer today.
Nutley Township Attorney Jonathan Bruno said Henry Meola has been suspended from his chief’s duties, pending the results of the ongoing investigation.
Because the reported incident took place in North Bergen, the investigation, initially referenced to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, has since been transferred to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
Meola was seen in a video operation conducted by Ramy, whose organization, OBL Nation, sets out to take down adult men who think they are otherwise going to have some sort of sexual encounter with a child under the age of 16, New Jersey’s age of consent.
OBL Nation uses decoys who pose as the underaged kids. In the case involving Meola, OBL Nation’s decoy purported to be a 14-year-old boy.
When the prospective “predator” agrees to meet the underage decoy, instead of finding a teenager, they’ll find Ramy and his partners who then confront them with cameras rolling, usually live on YouTube and other streaming services.
The YouTubers are often referred to as “predator catchers.”
Ramy, meanwhile, posted a clip of the operation on his Instagram account — www.instagram.com/obl.nation — and while has caught hundreds of men, he says this one was particularly disturbing.
“So last night we caught the Chief of the Nutley Fire Department trying to have sex with a 14-year-old boy and it was one of the most heart wrenching catches I’ve done,” Ramy said. “My guy confessed to everything & ultimately got detained & all electronics seized by the amazing detectives we worked with last night!
“Got word from Nutley detectives that the prosecutor is going to prosecute. We’re going to go in today to provide official statements & more electronic evidence to cooperate with the investigation so we can turn it into an arrest!
“For those asking about when the catch will drop, it’ll get posted within two weeks or so after some of our other high profile catches get uploaded first.”
The Observer will update this story when the full video is posted.
If you’re interested in seeing Ramy in action, he’s all over social media. His organization is known as OBL Nation. On YouTube, visit www.youtube.com/@OBLNation; on Instagram it’s www.instagram.com/obl.nation. And on TikTik, check out www.tiktok.com/@oblnation.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.