Top Stories 2021: Prominent community members charged by feds

A longtime Southold Town employee and former Democratic candidate for supervisor was arrested on a federal child pornography charge in February.

Damon Rallis, 46, of Southold was charged with distribution of child pornography, the complaint states.

Mr. Rallis, who was a scoutmaster in Greenport, became the subject of an investigation by the FBI after he engaged last April with an undercover agent in an “invite-only” group chat on the social media platform Kik, according to the complaint filed in federal court. He shared a pair of graphic videos of underage children, court records show.

During an FBI raid of Mr. Rallis’ home Feb. 23, he admitted to law enforcement that he had viewed child pornography and that he had posted the media referenced in the criminal complaint, according to a sworn affidavit from a special agent with the FBI. Mr. Rallis told investigators he had viewed child pornography as recently as the day before and that he would delete images after viewing them, according to the complaint.

In March, David Corwin, then a member of the Greenport Planning Board, was charged with possession of child pornography in an unrelated FBI sting.

Mr. Corwin was first visited by a pair of federal agents from the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force on March 18, according to a criminal complaint. The FBI was acting on a tip from an international law enforcement agency that said someone using a computer at Mr. Corwin’s home had accessed a “dark web” site used for child pornography in April 2019. 

On a laptop, Mr. Corwin opened a “dark web” browser that had live chatting capabilities he referred to as a “pedo chat.” On that same computer, an agent observed three open tabs containing graphic sexual images of children.

Court records show both Mr. Rallis and Mr. Corwin have discussed plea deals with federal prosecutors. They are both on supervised home release and due back in court early in the new year.