Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Brian W. McKay, Esq., Assistant U.S. Attorney, James Wesley Hendrix, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas, Dallas, TX.
For David Heredia-Holguin, Defendant - Appellant: James Matthew Wright, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Sherylynn Ann Kime-Goodwin, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender's Office, Northern District of Texas, Dallas, TX; Sherylynn Ann Kime-Goodwin, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender's Office, Northern District of Texas, Lubbock, TX; Monica F. Markley, Federal Public Defender's Office, Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth, TX.
Before REAVLEY, OWEN, and HIGGINSON, Circuit Judges.
STEPHEN A. HIGGINSON, Circuit Judge:
David Heredia-Holguin pleaded guilty to illegal reentry following a previous deportation. The district court sentenced him to twelve months of imprisonment, followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Since filing this appeal, Heredia-Holguin has completed his term of imprisonment, been released from custody, and been removed to Mexico. As explained below, we dismiss the appeal and deny Heredia-Holguin's request to vacate his remaining term of supervised release.
FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
In 2005, Heredia-Holguin lost his status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States and was removed from the country to Mexico. In September 2006, Heredia-Holguin returned to the United States without legal permission. Several years later, in August 2013, he was arrested on state and federal drug charges. After the drug charges were dismissed, Heredia-Holguin remained in federal custody and was charged with illegally reentering the country after deportation. He entered into a plea agreement and pled guilty.
The district court sentenced Heredia-Holguin to twelve months in prison, followed by a three-year term of supervised release. The district court explained that supervised release would " offer an additional potential sanction against the defendant should he subsequently be deported and then try to unlawfully come back into this country." Heredia-Holguin did not object in the district court to his sentence or the conditions of supervised release. Instead, he filed a notice of appeal from the judgment of conviction and sentence. But while his appeal was pending, and before he filed his initial brief in the Fifth Circuit, Heredia-Holguin was released from prison and deported, having completed his one-year prison sentence. His three-year term of supervised release nevertheless remains in effect.
Following his deportation, Heredia-Holguin's counsel filed an initial brief conceding that Heredia-Holguin's deportation rendered this appeal moot. He also filed a motion to vacate the district court's sentence
or the term of supervised release. In response, the Government filed an unopposed motion to dismiss the appeal as moot.
In response to these filings, this court ordered supplemental briefing on three issues: (1) what error, if any, Heredia-Holguin complains of on appeal; (2) whether the appeal has become moot under United States v. Rosenbaum-Alanis, 483 F.3d 381 (5th Cir. 2007), United States v. Lares-Meraz, 452 F.3d 352 (5th Cir. 2006) (per curiam), and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 43; and (3) if the appeal is moot, whether the court should vacate Heredia-Holguin's conviction, sentence, or term of supervised release under the doctrine of equitable vacatur. Having received and ...