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U.S. marshal for New Mexico resigns

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

Conrad Candelaria

Conrad Candelaria, U.S. marshal for New Mexico, resigned over the weekend after nearly eight years in that position, a spokesman for the service confirmed Monday.

The retired Albuquerque police officer was nominated for the position by then-President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2010.

Drew Wade, a spokesman for the Marshals Service, said Candelaria's resignation went into effect Saturday and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Brent Broshow took over as the interim senior manager of the New Mexico office on Sunday.

Wade did not provide any explanation for Candelaria's resignation and said that the organization generally does not comment on personnel issues.

Candelaria could not be reached for comment.

His tenure was not without controversy.

In February 2016, 23-year-old Edgar Camacho-Alvarado was shot and killed by a Marshals Service task force member searching a West Central trailer park for a homicide suspect. The Marshals Service said Camacho-Alvarado pointed a gun at officers, but an attorney representing his family questioned whether deputy marshals knew that he wasn't the person they were looking for, and whether the marshals were identifiable as law enforcement at the time of the shooting.

And months later, in May 2016, members of a U.S. Marshals task force had to be rescued by the APD SWAT team when they came under fire while attempting to arrest Mario Montoya, 31, for a probation violation. According to a search warrant, the gunfire left the group trapped in an apartment. Montoya was shot and killed by the marshals task force.

Online White House documents show President Donald Trump has not yet nominated a possible replacement. But in May, members of New Mexico's congressional delegation sent the president a list of four candidates who they said had the “qualifications, experience and temperament necessary to effectively serve” as U.S. marshal: James Burrell, assistant chief deputy U.S. marshal; Sonya Chavez, FBI supervisory special agent; Larry Harper, supervisory deputy U.S. marshal; and Pete Kassetas, New Mexico State Police chief.

Michael Coleman of the Journal Washington Bureau contribute to this report.

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