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Threatening Letters, Suspicious Powder Sent To Staten Island Neighborhood

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The FBI has taken a sudden interest in a street on Staten Island that's been has been hit with a wave of anonymous, hate-spewing letters which on Wednesday escalated when mysterious powder was sent to several neighbors through the mail.

The street is called Tone Lane. It is in the Rosebank section of the borough. It features attached townhouses of many immigrants. But anonymous mailings are frightening the people here, calling one neighbor, for example, a "deadbeat, child molester and degenerate."

"They even say going to rape my daughter. Yes, by name. They know all of us. It's someone who lives here," resident Jose Rodriguez told CBS 2's John Slattery.

Residents say they've received threatening letters for the past couple of years. But on Wednesday, envelopes were received that contained powder.

"The last envelope we received was with white powder. I did, with powder," Rodriguez said.

With at least three neighbors receiving unidentified powder, police sent Hazmat units and determined the powder was not dangerous. But detectives collected the evidence that residents has saved. One man said he'd thrown away all the offending mail.

"I received one talking about a sex offender that was in the neighborhood," Tyron Murdaugh said.

Another man said he saved five examples. The return addresses and post marks are from Boston. Rodriguez said he's received shell casings, hundreds of letters, and threatening e-mails.

"'I want you dead.' He sent it 44 times. I live at 44," Rodriguez said.

And George Torres said he and his wife not only got letters, but magazine subscriptions they never ordered.

"It's like my wife will get a magazine, Elvira Pulta Rodriguez. That means whore in Spanish," George Torres said.

It may be just a long-running prank, but with the threats and now the powder, the case has been taken over by the Joint-Terrorism Task Force.

Neighbors believe it's one of them. Postal investigators, the NYPD and the FBI are involved in the investigation.

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