Sommelier Sentenced for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska
Acting United States Attorney Susan T. Lehr announced that Mark Bernal, a/k/a “Mark Reyes”, 49, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced today in federal court in Omaha for failing to register as a sex offender pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. United States District Court Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Bernal to imprisonment for 5 months in the Bureau of Prisons. There is no parole in the federal system. After his release from federal prison, Bernal will begin a 2-year term of supervised release. Additionally, Bernal was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.
On January 8, 2009, Bernal was convicted of possession of child pornography (3 counts) in Will County, Illinois. He was sentenced to three years in jail and has since been required to register as a sex offender in any state in which he resides pursuant to the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), a federal law.
On June 15, 2021, Chicago police attempted to locate Bernal at his residence in Illinois 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.
In the summer of 2022, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) learned that Bernal was working as a sommelier in Nebraska using the name Mark Reyes. Bernal used the “Reyes” name in connection with his wine consulting business, which he established upon moving to Nebraska from Chicago. The USMS located a rental address for Bernal and his spouse in Omaha and subsequently observed him at the residence at that address on multiple occasions throughout the month of June 2022. Bernal and his spouse established utilities at the residence on January 5, 2022. Bernal did not register or attempt to register, nor did he update his sex offender registration pursuant to the requirements of SORNA between approximately April 1, 2021, and September 26, 2022, when he was arrested.
This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service.
Updated September 8, 2023