Candelaria said he and Chief Deputy Michael Ferstl toured the local jail and found some infrastructure problems which resulted in the relocations.
Candelaria said they moved up to 80 male and female inmates, while County Manager Kelly Kuenstler said only 48 federal prisoners were being taken out of the facility.
Candelaria said the relocation was Step One.
Step Two, he said, would take place Friday, when a detention management inspector and three or four other deputy U-S Marshalls who have been trained in specific areas complete a thorough inspection of compliance with nine federal performance-based standards for detention facilities.
Then, Candelaria, said, Step Three would be an overall corrective action process which may prompt weekly inspections for some period.
Kuenstler took issue with describing Tuesday's inspection by Candelaria as a "surprise," saying Candelaria and Ferstl were invited to tour the facility Thursday but they came on Tuesday instead.
Kuenstler said the relocation of the federal inmates would not cause layoffs at the facility.
Luna County is paid 51-dollars a day per federal prisoner.
Kuenstler blamed the problem on infrastructure -- specifically the modular jail cells constructed between 2007 and 2008 -- saying the cells will require upgrades before they can be used to capacity.
Kuenstler stressed that officials from the U-S Marshall's and the county were attempting to address some of the overcrowding issues so the infrastructure can be upgraded in an expeditious manner.