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Co-owner of shuttered day care admits violations, explains closure

Posted at 3:06 AM, Feb 07, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — Green Bay Academy day care will not appeal its license revocation after an employee allegedly stored and sold fentanyl at the day care. Co-owner Angel Soto lives out of state and said it was too difficult to oversee the day care from afar — so he plans to sell the facility.

  • Soto admitted to the multiple violations that led to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families revoking the license
  • As we have previously reported, Tatiana Quinones is facing four charges related to the alleged drug deal
  • Soto said the day care did not know about Quinones' criminal record when they hired her, as the state conducts background checks
    • One of Quinones' prior offenses, disorderly conduct, is listed on the Barred Offenses list for regulated child care, but does not constitute a permanent ban from child care
  • Video shows the interior of the day care as the owners pack it up and prepare to close it down

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

On Monday we told you about the charges against a day care employee accused of storing and selling fentanyl here. Now, the owner telling us what he knows and why they're closing for good.

The co-owner, Angel Soto, did not want to appear on camera for fear of retribution from drug dealers.

Soto admits Green Bay Academy did not report to the state after its employee was arrested.

"We didn't say anything because we didn't know if we would be interfering with the investigation," Soto said.

He says the day care did not know Tatiana Quinones had a criminal record before she was hired.

"We're not involved in the process," Soto said. "We send 'em for the background check, and the state evaluates it."

Authorities say Quinones stored fentanyl pills in the bathroom of this room — the one-year-old room — before selling them to an undercover informant outside.

The Brown County Sheriff's Drug Task Force told me seven out of ten pills laced with fentanyl and tested by the DEA carry a lethal dose of the drug. Lieutenant Matthew Ronk says fentanyl is the "number one threat to Brown County" and he "[doesn't] see a light at the end of the tunnel."

Back inside Green Bay Academy, its license has been revoked for multiple violations.

The co-owner says they will not appeal the revocation because they would prefer to close the center, citing the difficulty of operating the business without living in the area.

"We dodged a bullet there, and that's what kinda told us, maybe we don't want to be doing this anymore," Soto said.

He says he's just glad no children were harmed.

"We're sorry that this took place, and more importantly, to our employees, that we had to close down," Soto said.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families recommends that families still looking for child care call (920) 432-8899 to reach out to Family & Childcare Resources of Northeast Wisconsin.