FALLENTIMBER - Someone purporting to be a Ku Klux Klan member has mailed threatening letters to two Reade Township residents warning them to stop speaking out about municipal leadership.
State police are investigating the letters.
Robert March and Jim Thompson each said they received a letter typed on orange paper, folded inside yellow lined paper and enclosed in an envelope from someone claiming to represent active "Knights of the Klu [sic] Klux Klan ... of a Pennsylvania clavern [sic] who live near you."
The writer threatens to take action against the two men, who have been critical of township supervisors and municipal authority board members.
"We know you are a social parasite as are most of your followers and it is our mission to clean trash like you out of our rural Pennsylvania communities," the letter reads, before closing with: "At your peril. You have been warned."
Thompson said he received the letter Saturday morning and called March, who later opened his letter at home in front of state police Trooper Joseph Huber.
Both letters had "RTMA," for the Reade Township Municipal Authority, written in the upper lefthand corner of the envelope, with March's and Thompson's names written in the address line. There is no indication that the letter was sent from any township-affiliated office.
Huber said both letters were collected as evidence and will be processed for fingerprints.
He said state police haven't dealt with Klan-related threats in the area before, but said police will make "no assumptions" as to who sent the letters.
March said he doesn't think the letter was sent by a Klansman, but because he has mixed-race grandchildren, some of his family members are refusing to visit him should the threat be real.
"If there's any truth to it at all ... I can't take it as not [true]," he said. "It scares the heck out of my family."
March and Thompson both said they will not be bullied into silence but want someone to be charged with harassment for sending the letters.
Thompson said he also put in calls to U.S. Postal Service inspectors, the FBI and the state Attorney General's Office.
As of Monday afternoon, representatives from the post office and FBI said they were unaware of the letters, and an attorney general spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Postal inspector Ken Gournic said because a criminal organization is named in the letter, any such complaint likely would be turned over to the FBI.
Thompson said he believes whoever wrote the letter is using the KKK as a cover.
"It just seems like that's ... a terrorist group [they're trying to] use," he said.