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Lincoln daycare investigation tied to child porn arrest

(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Oct. 24, 2019 at 8:40 AM CDT
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A Lincoln daycare has been shut down following an FBI investigation and child porn arrest.

Playful Painters, located at 630 N. Cotner Boulevard was shut down Wednesday due to an FBI investigation and child porn arrest.

Lincoln Police said they are assisting the FBI with the investigation.

Federal court records show Titus J. Miller, 26, appeared in U.S. District Court in Lincoln Wednesday afternoon. He's charged with production of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. If convicted, he faces 20 to 50 years in prison.

A former employee of Playful Painters told 10/11 NOW Miller was the night manager at the child care center.

Federal Judge Cheryl R. Zwart determined Miller would remain in custody as he's "a risk of harm to the public if released." Her signed detention order said, "Specifically, based on the weight of the evidence, the court finds this defendant poses a serious risk of harm to children." Details about the investigation are not public, as the affidavit and complaint are sealed.

Miller is scheduled to appear in federal court again on November 13th.

That former employee, who asked to remain anonymous, tells 10/11 NOW when she heard the news, she couldn't believe it.

"I was shocked, because there was more to the story than even, we didn't even know about," said the former employee.

When asked about the investigation at Playful Painters, the FBI released the following statement.

"The FBI executed a lawful arrest of an individual on production of child pornography charges in Lincoln, Neb. yesterday. Upon learning that a child may be at risk, we reacted immediately. We understand the outrage the community feels and that this news is disrupting the lives of families right here in Lincoln. Our priority is to protect the victims and bring the perpetrator to justice, and ask for your patience as we conduct a thorough investigation. We would like to thank our partners at the United States Attorney's Office and the Lincoln Police Department for their crucial assistance in affecting the arrest. As this is an ongoing investigation, no further details can be discussed at this time."

When calling the field office for the FBI in Omaha, a voice answering service included a prompt for family members calling about "an incident at a daycare facility in Lincoln."

According to state records, Playful Painters is a 24 hour, 7 days a week daycare with a maximum capacity of 68 children.

A concerned parent told 10/11 that state officials were at the daycare Wednesday afternoon and unable to give any information.

Documents obtained by 1011 NOW show a former employee of another daycare previously owned by Amanda Gallagher, who owns Playful Painters, was convicted last year of distributing child pornography.

Manda’s Pandas Child Care Center, which was located at 2940 N 48th Street in Lincoln, closed in 2018. They had been operating on a provisional license because of an investigation into Dustin Hansen, an employee who was later convicted in federal court of distribution of child pornography.

Hansen was arrested in November, 2017, after a thumb drive was found in his home containing images and a video of child pornography. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Authorities have not said if there's any connection between the 2017 case and Wednesday's investigation.