Sam Brinton: Charges explored as former Biden administration official arrested over another theft incident

(image via Energy Government Official Website)
Brinton is accused of three luggage thefts in multiple States (image via Energy Government Official Website)

On Wednesday, May 18, 35-year-old former Biden administration official Sam Brinton was arrested from home in connection to several airport luggage thefts. While officials have not confirmed the circumstances around Brinton's Wednesday arrest, they described him as a fugitive from justice, indicating that he may have missed a court date.

Sam Brinton, who identifies as non-binary, is a nuclear engineer and LGBTQ+ activist who was formerly deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposal in the Office of Nuclear Energy. In December 2022, they were removed from the position after facing luggage theft allegations. They are currently being held at the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit.

The timeline of the allegations against Sam Brinton

Sam Brinton was first accused of luggage theft in October 2022 after a woman claimed that they had stolen her suitcase from a baggage carousel at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport in Minnesota.

Minnesota authorities noted that when they initially confronted Brinton, the suspect denied the allegations. The criminal complaint added that Brinton eventually admitted they were not being "entirely honest." Brinton had their first court appearance in connection with the charges on February 15, 2023. The case is currently pending.

On December 8, 2022, Nevada authorities issued a warrant against Brinton for allegedly stealing luggage at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas in July of that year. Surveillance cameras recorded footage of the suspected luggage thief stealing a suitcase from a carousel.

In April 2022, Brinton pleaded no contest to charges of grand larceny. Their jail sentence, a term of 180 days, was suspended. They were ordered to pay $3,670.74 in restitution to the victim.

In February 2023, a Tanzanian fashion designer publicly announced that she suspected Brinton of baggage theft at Washington DC's Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in March 2018.

The fashion designer had claimed that the luggage contained an item of custom-designed clothing and that she saw photos of Sam Brinton wearing it. She added that she had already filed a case against Brinton in December 2022.

The designer, Asya Khamsin, tweeted the photo of Brinton wearing the supposed stolen clothing. In an interview with the New York Post, she explained how she came to suspect that Brinton had stolen her luggage.

She said:

“I saw the images. Those were my custom designs, which were lost in that bag in 2018."

In November 2022, Brinton was placed on leave from the Office of Nuclear Energy. A month later, in December, a spokesperson with the Department of Energy formally announced that Brinton was no longer working with them.

A spokesperson for the Office stated:

“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee. By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters."

Brinton has not yet commented on the latest arrest.

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Edited by Rhythm Bhatia
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