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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bernalillo County Man Pleads Guilty to Failing to Update his Sex Offender Registration

ALBUQUERQUE – Bruce Hayes Bell, 65, of Albuquerque, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court to violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Bell will be sentenced to a year and a day in prison followed by not less than three years of supervised release.  Bell will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.

SORNA, also known as the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act, requires that a convicted sex offender register in each jurisdiction where the offender resides, where the offender is employed, or where the offender is a student, and that the sex offender maintain current registrations.

Bell was arrested on Dec. 9, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with violating SORNA by failing to update his sex offender registration.  According to the complaint, Bell was required to register as a sex offender because of his prior convictions for sexual assault on a child on June 6, 2011 and Nov. 10, 2010 in Colorado and criminal sexual penetration on Feb. 1, 2012 in Bernalillo County, N.M.

Bell was subsequently indicted on the same charge on Dec. 17, 2015.  According to the indictment, Bell failed to update his registration between Oct. 21, 2015 and Dec. 2, 2015, in Bernalillo County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Bell pled guilty to the indictment.  In entering the guilty plea, Bell admitted that he was a sex offender and failed to update his sex offender registration  as required by SORNA.   Bell remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez is prosecuting the case.

Updated August 25, 2016