Anthony Merletto
Anthony Merletto (Burlington County Prosecutor's Office)

PEMBERTON — In another example of the dangers lurking in cyberspace, prosecutors say a 19-year-old Burlington County man tricked a 13-year-old girl into sending him naked pictures of herself.

Anthony Merletto was arrested at his Browns Mills section home on Jan. 6 and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and possession of child pornography after authorities say they found images on his cell phone.


Join New Jersey 101.5 live Wednesday, Jan. 18 for a special town hall presentation on online child predators. Watch live at and starting at 7 p.m. Join our online discussion or call 1-800-283-1015 to get your questions answered by New Jersey State Police investigators.

He was being held at the Burlington County jail with no bail.

Prosecutors say Merletto created a fake Facebook profile claiming to be a fitness model and used the account to engage in sexually explicit chat with other people, including a 13-year-old girl from Texas.

Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crimes Unit was alerted by Facebook, which told authorities that the account may have received child pornography.

It was not clear Saturday whether Merletto had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

New Jersey 101.5 will hold a special town hall with the State Police 7 p.m. on Jan. 18 to discuss how parents can protect their children from online predators.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email



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