Rockville, MD – The former nuclear waste official who was charged while working for President Joe Biden’s administration for allegedly stealing women’s luggage at multiple airports was arrested yet again on Wednesday – this time for being a “fugitive from justice,” according to Maryland police.
Now-former U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition Sam Brinton, one of the first non-binary officials to work for the federal government, was arrested on Wednesday during an effort led by the Metropolitan Airports Authority Police (MAAP), FOX News reported.
“Montgomery County Police assisted in the arrest of Sam Brinton,” Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) spokesperson Shiera Goff confirmed on Thursday. “The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police are lead on this.”
Goff said Brinton was arrested at his residence on College Parkway at approximately 10 p.m. on May 17, FOX News reported.
He was being held in the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit without bond, pending an extradition hearing.
“That’s all of the information we have on our end,” Goff told FOX News.
BREAKING 🚨: Ex-Biden Nuclear Official Sam Brinton Arrested As ‘Fugitive From Justice’ pic.twitter.com/bShMssHt8w
— Officer Lew (@officer_Lew) May 18, 2023
Just one month before his latest arrest, the disgraced former Biden official managed to escape jail time in two separate luggage theft cases in two different states.
Brinton originally faced felony charges in Minnesota and Nevada that carried a cumulative maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
According to Las Vegas Justice Court records, Brinton pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of theft on April 12, KLAS reported.
The judge sentenced the 35-year-old to 180 days in jail with all time suspended and told him to stay out of trouble, according to the Daily Mail.
Brinton was also ordered to pay the victim $3,670 in restitution.
Non-binary ex-Biden nuclear official Sam Brinton arrested for being “fugitive from justice” pic.twitter.com/Qo6FVNRv5N
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) May 18, 2023
Days later, a judge in Minnesota allowed Brinton to enter into an adult diversion program, which could result in the case against him being dismissed, KMSP reported.
The judge ordered Brinton to complete a mental health evaluation, return any stolen property, complete three days of community service, and write a letter of apology to the victim.
Brinton is also the subject of another investigation involving the theft of Tanzanian fashion designer Asya Khamsin’s luggage from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the Daily Mail reported.
That incident occurred in 2018.
Khamsin said the luggage contained handmade clothing she’d personally designed.
She said late last year that as Brinton became a more frequent figure in the news, she saw images of him and realized he was wearing clothing she claimed belonged to her, FOX News reported.
“I saw the images. Those were my custom designs, which were lost in that bag in 2018,” Khamsin told the news outlet. “He wore my clothes, which was stolen.”
It is unclear whether Brinton’s May 17 arrest is connected to the investigation into the theft of Khamsin’s luggage.
The series of events leading to the charges against Brinton began on Sept. 16, 2022, when police were notified about a missing Vera Bradley suitcase at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport baggage claim, the New York Post reported.
Investigators were able to pull surveillance footage of the baggage claim area, according to court documents.
That footage allegedly showed Brinton snatching a piece of high-dollar luggage off of the carousel and pulling off an affixed tag identifying the true owner of the bag, the New York Post reported.
Court documents alleged Brinton “removed the blue bag’s tag and put the bag tag in the handbag they were carrying,” then “left the area at a quick pace,” the Exchange Monitor reported.
According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police Department, Brinton had not even checked a bag on the American Airlines flight he took that day.
Investigators said they found other surveillance footage showing Brinton using the stolen suitcase while traveling to Washington, DC on both Sept. 18, 2022, and on Oct. 9, 2022.
When police contacted Brinton about the incident on Oct. 9, 2022, the Biden administration official allegedly claimed the bag he had picked up contained his clothing, FOX News reported.
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual,” Brinton claimed, according to police. “That was my clothes when I opened the bag.”
But the nuclear waste assistant secretary called the officer back about two hours later with a different story, according to court documents.
This time, Brinton allegedly told the officer that he hadn’t been “completely honest” and claimed he had accidentally taken the wrong bag because he was so exhausted after his flight, FOX News reported.
“DEFENDANT said when they opened the bag at the hotel, they realized it was not theirs,” court documents read. “DEFENDANT got nervous people would think they stole the bag and did not know what to do. DEFENDANT stated they left the clothes from the bag inside the drawers in the hotel room.”
The criminal complaint was filed in Minnesota’s 4th Judicial District Court on Oct. 27, 2022, according to the Exchange Monitor.
Brinton was subsequently charged with felony theft of a moveable property without consent, the New York Post reported.
As media reports of Brinton’s Minnesota charge spread, investigators in Las Vegas recalled a very similar incident that occurred at the Harry Reid International Airport on July 6, 2022, FOX News reported.
According to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) report, a woman traveling from Washington, DC to Las Vegas that day reported that one of her checked bags was missing from the baggage claim area.
The suitcase had a total value of approximately $3,670.
Police said the security footage from the baggage claim area showed “a white male adult wearing a white T-shirt with a large rainbow colored atomic nuclear symbol design” snatching up a bag off of the carousel that matched the description of the missing luggage, according to the news outlet.
A LVMPD detective noted that the suspect “demonstrated several signs of abnormal behavior while taking the victim’s luggage which are cues suspects typically give off when committing luggage theft,” FOX News reported.
The video showed the suspect checking the tag on the luggage before placing it back onto the carousel, according to police.
The suspect then started “looking in all directions for anyone who might be watching, or might approach,” before ultimately “pulling it back off the carousel and demonstrating the same behavior by looking around before walking away with it quickly,” the LVMPD report read.
The Las Vegas case was closed after police were unable to identify the suspect, but that all changed after Brinton was charged in Minnesota, FOX News reported.
Police in Las Vegas said they “immediately recognized” Brinton as the suspect seen in the security footage.
Investigators confirmed he was on the same flight as the victim and that he had only checked one bag, FOX News reported.
At the time of the theft, Brinton had already claimed his bag from the carousel and therefore “had no reason to be examining and taking any other pieces of luggage,” the LVMPD said.
Investigators said they were also able to locate an Instagram post that showed Brinton wearing the same “white T-shirt with a large rainbow colored atomic nuclear symbol design” as the suspect seen in the security footage.
Brinton was placed on leave by the DOE shortly after he was arrested on the Minnesota charges in October of last year.
He had just stepped into the high-ranking DOE role four months earlier.
“There’s been a lot of people who are quite upset that don’t think that I am quite as qualified as others,” Brinton said during an interview in October of 2022, according to FOX News. “I respond with multiple graduate degrees from MIT, a decade of working in nuclear policy and the strongest enthusiasm for working in nuclear waste out of anybody.”
Brinton was fired after his arrest late last year.
“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee,” a DOE spokesperson confirmed in December of 2022, according to The Daily Beast. “By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters.”
Brinton, who has openly shared his enjoyment of “pup play,” is also a member of a group of drag queens who dress up as nuns to raise awareness about sexual intolerance and transphobia, the Daily Mail reported.
When working with the nonprofit group, known as the Order of Perpetual Indulgence, Brinton uses the alias of Sister Ray Dee O’Active, according to the news outlet.