NAPLES, Idaho, March 12 — A white supremacist wanted by the Government is holed up with his family atop a mountain here in northern Idaho, and United States marshals mindful of fatal shootouts with extremists in recent years are avoiding a confrontation with him.
The 44-year-old supremacist, Randy Weaver, retreated to his fortress-like cabin 14 months ago and failed to appear for trial in February 1991 on Federal weapons charges.
It is the duty of the Marshals Service to bring him to justice, but the agency is holding back.
“He’s not the only one living up there,” said Ron Evans, chief deputy in the agency’s Boise office, referring to Mr. Weaver’s family. “We have four children and a wife up there who have not been charged with any crimes.” Supplies From Friends
Reconnaissance flights by Government agents over the remote Selkirk Mountain cabin, about 100 miles northeast of Spokane, Wash., have observed three of the children — a 12-year-old son and daughters 10 and 14 years old — carrying handguns in holsters. The fourth child is an infant.
Friends keep the family supplied with food and deliver their mail from a post office box at the Naples general store about seven miles away. The cabin has no electricity.
- Mr. Weaver has declined interview requests from news organizations. Last week a friend of his, Allen Jeppesen, told Spokane’s two daily newspapers, The Spokesman-Review and The Spokane Chronicle: “He’s fully self-contained up there on his mountain. Weaver says he don’t want nobody on his mountain.”
The Aryan Nations, based near Hayden Lake, Idaho, spawned a secretive, violent offshoot called the Order, whose founder, Robert Mathews, died in a shootout with Federal agents on Whidbey Island, Wash., in December 1984.
The marshals have corresponded with Mr. Weaver and have been in contact with his lawyer, Everett Hofmeister of Coeur d’Alene.
The marshals are hoping Mr. Weaver will end his isolation. “We do intend, at some point in the future, to bring Randy Weaver before the court,” Mr. Evans said.more