Sommelier from Omaha receives 5 months in prison after failing to register as sex offender
OMAHA, Neb. -- After failing to register as a sex offender, a sommelier from Omaha was sentenced to prison.
Acting U.S. Attorney Susan T. Lehr said 49-year-old Mark Bernal, a.k.a. “Mark Reyes,” of Omaha, was sentenced in federal court in Omaha on Thursday.
He was convicted for failing to register as a sex offender pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Bernal will serve five months in prison at the Bureau of Prisons with a two-year term of supervised release after. There is no parole in the federal system.
Bernal has to pay a fine of $5,000.
Officials said Bernal was convicted for three counts of possession of child pornography in Illinois on Jan. 8, 2009 He was sentenced to three years in jail and has been required to register as a sex offender in any state that he lives, according to the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), a federal law.
According to court documents, Chicago police tried to find Bernal at his home in Illinois on June 15, 2021, after he was overdue for his annual sex offender registration. The building manager stated that Bernal moved out on April 1, 2021, with his new spouse but did not leave a forwarding address.
Authorities said the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) learned that Bernal was working as a sommelier in Nebraska using the name Mark Reyes in summer 2022. Bernal used the “Reyes” name for his wine consulting business, which he established after moving to Nebraska. The USMS found a rental address for Bernal and his spouse in Omaha and watched him at the residence several times during the month of June 2022.
Officials state that Bernal and his spouse established utilities at the residence on Jan. 5, 2022. Bernal did not register or try to register, nor did he update his sex offender registration pursuant to the requirements of SORNA between April 1, 2021, and Sept. 26, 2022, when he was arrested.
This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service.