SoCal’s Military-Sanctioned Child Trafficking Rings You Never Heard About: Part 1
A report by Let The Children Go
Written by Kauro + Sev
Epstein’s trafficking ring continues to dominate the headlines long after the billionaire pedophile’s death nearly a year ago. Accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell is behind bars until her trial. Meanwhile, a majority of Epstein’s associates, like child pimp Natalya Malyshev, use their wealth to scurry to glamorous hideaways to stay under the radar.
The Epstein saga may seem sensational and “out there”, but it parallels hundreds if not thousands of similar, less well-known cases. The public must accept that, if anything, child sexual abuse and trafficking is commonplace.
One such case is the militant-led child trafficking ring based in Pasadena, home to the Rose Bowl and about 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Masquerading as juvenile correctional programs, the Commit II Achieve camp and Families First Growth Camp were fronts for child trafficking throughout the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. The camp leaders fostered environments of rampant child abuse. Both camps were privately presided over by former Marines.
Today, we will focus on sex offender Kelvin McFarland. His allies, enablers, and accomplices who live their lives completely unpunished will be described in future articles. McFarland passed a background check in spite of child sex assaults in the early 2000’s to get his job as a camp leader at Commit II Achieve, a camp run by Marine Keith Gibbs. After his physically abusive tactics spurred controversy, McFarland was allowed to leave his post and start his own privately owned child bootcamp.
In 2009, multiple complaints were filed against McFarland, a supposedly exemplary employee of the privately managed child bootcamps. Local residents often spotted McFarland and other Marine camp leaders in military fatigues. They led children through extensive periods of exercise in secluded areas. Their use of torturous tactics against children as young as 8 began to alarm stray passersby.
All complaints were dismissed by law enforcement until footage of the Commit II Achieve camp leaders harming minors emerged in 2011. In the first video, minors are forced to consume large amounts of water, to the point of vomiting or suffocating under the threat of violence. In the second video, a child with a tire around his neck is berated and forced to say that he loves his Sergeant, who screams the order in his face while others in military dress gang up on the child.
This is just the abuse captured on a few minutes of video. There are far more sinister accounts of what happened in the camps’ day to day proceedings. These accounts were never recorded in the media. A majority of the camp’s attendees were children of color from low-income families, many of whom did not speak English.
I interviewed co-author Kauro about her traumatizing experience with one of the perpetrators caught on video, Kelvin McFarland. In 2012, her abusive mother paid McFarland to take her daughter Kauro to his own juvenile correctional establishment, Family First Growth Camp. Her mother attempted to stop Kauro’s tendency to run away from her abusive home by paying for Kauro’s induction into the program. The violent abduction took place on a Saturday morning with her mother watching. This was all part of an unstable mother’s plan to intimidate the straitlaced, straight-A 7th grader forever.
“It was a Saturday morning when a man in military uniform burst into my room. All I saw was a blur because he moved so quickly.” Unfortunately, the tall, 200+ pound man putting his hands on Kaura was Sergeant Kelvin McFarland. Kauro was dragged by her ankles off of her bed. She could do little more than freeze in her state of shock.
“He went through my things, my wallet, and told me that if I didn’t call him Sir he would smash my head into the wall… he handcuffed me and pushed me into his car.”
Kauro was taken to a secluded area where other children were already in the midst of their physical workouts since 6:00 in the morning. “At the Rose Bowl there were many other kids behind the aquatic center and throughout the day we were forced to do physical exercise for hours. Eventually we were given a plate of food later on during the day.”
A girl who had been at the Camp even earlier than Kauro was so weak that she could barely keep up when forced to run downhill. She fell down so often that her knees were cut and bloodied.
Later that night, in spite of her exhaustion, Kauro was determined not to return to the camp and McFarland. Her brother later took her to the hospital where she was treated for a resulting fever that nearly killed her.
Later, Kauro was nearly caught by her mother and a Commit II Achieve employee at one of her favorite runaway spots. Luckily, Kauro was tipped off and managed to avoid the pair. She would encounter McFarland two more times.
The last occurred when her father learned of McFarland’s court case. The pair went to McFarland’s trial in hopes that the bail would be raised higher with testimony of Kauro’s experience. Bail was subsequently raised to over 200,000 but McFarland’s church, supporters and allies rallied to meet the bail. Cool and confident, McFarland spotted Kauro in the courthouse and winked at her, enraging her father who witnessed the disturbing behavior.
The law eventually could not ignore McFarland’s crimes against children. McFarland’s blatant kidnapping and extortion of a girl was the last straw. In 2014, the Marine was formally charged:“Kelvin McFarland, 43, was sentenced to four years and four months in state prison after pleading no contest to nine charges, including sexually assaulting girls, kidnapping and child abuse, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.”
After serving his sentence, he now resides in Adelanto, where Kauro fears he will be given access to more children through his ties to law enforcement, among other institutions. She is suspicious of the nearby ICE detention center, noting the centers' reputations for sexual abuse. With his connections, she does not believe it is a stretch for McFarland to gain access to his preferred vulnerable Latina children.
McFarland’s known sexual assault and harrasment victims were all Latinx females ages 6-14, including Kauro. He currently resides in Adelanto, about 5 miles away from an ICE detention center and one and a half hours away from Pasadena. He is connected to judges of the Pasadena courthouse, law enforcement, and military; we will detail these connections in future installments.
It is no surprise these two young girls were sexually assaulted by military darling Kelvin McFarland and his military brothers and sisters. Military men on leave can visit brothels employing underage children without consequence. Those tempted to speak out are pressured by their commitment to their jobs and fear for their own safety.
Judge Phillip Soto, a man who knowingly funneled children into the two abusive camps is now a Superior Judge of LA County. He was last elected in 2018, and his term ends 2025. Former Pasadena mayor Bill Paparian represented McFarland as his attorney, and his approach was to maintain McFarland’s innocence. Despite video evidence, he maintained that McFarland simply was not present when abuse occurred in the video footage of the camp abuse. Lieutenant Tracee Ibarra, a member of the police department who refused to prosecute McFarland is living out her retirement in style. A local Pasadena church that raised funds for McFarland’s bail will be described in a future article.
The story is not over, and we will update on the corrupt individuals who allowed and perhaps still allow detestable local child trafficking rings to continue.