United States v. Ruben Delhorno

In the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit ____________________ No. 18-1707 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RUBEN DELHORNO, Defendant-Appellant. ____________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 11-CR-46 — J.P. Stadtmueller, Judge. ____________________ ARGUED OCTOBER 23, 2018 — DECIDED FEBRUARY 8, 2019 ____________________ Before KANNE, HAMILTON, and ST. EVE, Circuit Judges. HAMILTON, Circuit Judge. Defendant-appellant Ruben Del- horno filed a petition for a writ of coram nobis, a rare form of collateral attack on a criminal judgment. This ancient com- mon-law remedy is available to correct errors of fact and law in criminal cases, but only when: “(1) the error alleged is ‘of the most fundamental character’ as to render the criminal con- viction ‘invalid’; (2) there are ‘sound reasons’ for the defend- ant’s ‘failure to seek earlier relief’; and (3) ‘the defendant 2 No. 18-1707 continues to suffer from his conviction even though he is out of custody.’” United States v. Wilkozek, 822 F.3d 364, 368 (7th Cir. 2016), citing United States v. Sloan, 505 F.3d 685, 697 (7th Cir. 2007), and United States v. Keane, 852 F.2d 199, 203 (7th Cir. 1988). Delhorno fails the second requirement. He cannot offer “sound reasons” for failing to seek earlier relief through a direct appeal or habeas corpus petition. We therefore affirm the district court’s decision denying Delhorno’s writ of coram nobis. I. Factual and Procedural Background Delhorno, age 42, was born in Mexico but came to the United States with his parents when he was just three years old. He was living in the United States as a lawful permanent resident. (He could have applied for citizenship but never did.) In 2011, Delhorno was pulled over for speeding. While the officer was writing a speeding ticket, another officer ar- rived with his drug-detection canine. The dog sniffed the ve- hicle and alerted to the presence of drugs. Another officer at the scene had been instructed in the installation of “trap” compartments in vehicles and noticed that Delhorno’s vehicle contained unusual wiring. The officers discovered four kilo- grams of cocaine in a trap compartment in Delhorno’s vehicle. Delhorno was indicted by a grand jury in the Eastern Dis- trict of Wisconsin for one count of possessing cocaine with in- tent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) & 841(b)(1)(B). Delhorno pleaded guilty to the indictment on January 26, 2012. At the change of plea hearing, Delhorno stated that he was born in Mexico and was a permanent resi- dent of the United States. However, there was no discussion about the immigration consequences of his guilty plea, even though the hearing took place more than a year after the No. 18-1707 3 Supreme Court held in Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010), that a criminal defense lawyer provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to advise his client that his guilty plea would subject him to automatic deportation. Following the change of plea hearing, the United States Probation ...

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