An illegal immigrant nabbed at the Mexican border over the weekend is an MS-13 gang member who was deported for burglarizing an Oregon home as a scared 12-year-old girl hid under a blanket.
Jorge Antonio Avila-Rodas was arrested Saturday with four other men in an area 12 miles south of Arivaca, Ariz., Border Patrol agents said. The 34-year-old Honduran national was identified by agents as an MS-13 gang member during processing.
Officials said Avila-Rodas has felony convictions for burglary in Oregon, as well as immigration violations, without providing details. He now faces federal criminal charges for re-entering the country as a felon.
Reports show that Avila-Rodas was deported after serving 16 months in prison for burglarizing a house in Troutdale, Ore., in 2010 with two others.
The case generated headlines when police released a tape of a 911 call Mackenzie Hughes made as she was hiding from the burglars in her bedroom.
"Try not to cry," the 911 operator told the distraught sixth-grader, the Oregonian reported at the time. "I know it's hard. Do you have a stuffed animal or something you can hold onto?"
The paper said Mackenzie struggled to hold back tears. She told the operator she couldn't reach a stuffed animal without revealing her hiding spot.
"It's OK," the operator said. "You've got me here with you."
The paper reported that as they spoke Mackenzie told the operator her phone wasn’t cordless and wouldn’t reach into the closet.
The operator told her to hide in the bed under the blanket.
"He's in my room," Mackenzie whispered from her hiding spot.
"He's in your room?" the operator said, according to the paper. "Be quiet, OK? Don't talk to me, OK? Just don't talk."
The 911 call lasted more than eight minutes until the burglars left and cops caught them.
Prosecutors said the man who entered Mackenzie’s room was 22-year-old Alexis Colindres-Munoz, who cooperated with cops after his arrest and served a 6-month prison sentence.
They said Avila-Rodas and another man, 23-year-old Benito Flores-Amador acted as lookouts. Flores-Amador was also an illegal immigrant who was deported after serving his prison sentence.
The Oregonian reported that at the sentencing Avila-Rosas apologized to Mackenzie through an interpreter, saying “the trauma the girl is going through fills me with sadness. And the truth is I really regret that and it’s not going to happen again."
The paper reported at the time that to everyone's surprise Mackenzie attended the sentencing. She showed up with her mother, who told the burglars they picked the wrong house.
“Mackenzie Hughes is smart, and she is brave,” Tracey Ferguson told them.