Las Vegas, NV – The former nuclear waste official who was working for President Joe Biden’s administration will serve no time in jail for stealing a woman’s suitcase from a Harry Reid International Airport baggage claim last year.
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, faced up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine after being charged with felony theft in connection with the heist.
The incident occurred in July of 2022 and was captured by airport surveillance cameras.
The suitcase – which had a total value of about $3,670 – contained approximately $1700 worth of jewelry, $850 worth of clothing, and around $500 in makeup, FOX News reported.
Brinton had a similar case pending out of Minnesota when he was charged in Nevada.
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 must also pay the victims $3,670 in restitution.
The case against him in Minnesota remains ongoing.
He faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if he is convicted in that pending matter, according to the New York Post.
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.
Former US Government official, Sam Brinton has been accused of stealing Tanzanian Fashion Designer, Asyakhamsin's luggage in 2018.
Sam has been wearing her costumes to events. pic.twitter.com/SBaxZV4k2s
— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) February 24, 2023
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.”
— asyakhamsin (@asyakhamsin1) February 22, 2023
Brinton was fired from his high-ranking position 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.”
The series of events leading to the charges 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 the 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.
Biden’s ex nuclear waste disposal deputy, Sam Brinton, who is non-binary, appeared in a Las Vegas court earlier this week and was given a 180 day suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay one of his female victims $3600.
Brinton was found guilty of theft of two women’s… pic.twitter.com/dcLT3yDl45
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) April 14, 2023
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.
Sam Brinton is Biden's new Department of Energy hire who's in charge of nuclear waste. Sam sometimes identifies as a woman & is into BDSM & “pup play”. Sam isn’t shy about any of this. He hosts BDSM workshops. pic.twitter.com/kGrqvKSiMV
— Sal Robins 💜🤍💚 (@Sal_Robins) February 15, 2022
“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.
Remember him? Biden’s DEA employee Sam Brinton was given a plea deal for Felony Theft – Gets a 180 day suspended sentence, & only has to pay back $3,670 for the luggage he stole. One-sided justice! pic.twitter.com/7aCaxTEBR2
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) April 14, 2023
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.
Sam Brinton, the non-binary man who was in charge of Americas nuclear waste ☢️ disposal has agreed to a Plea Deal after being charged with the criminal theft of two women’s suitcases.
Brinton who uses They/Them pronouns has been ordered to pay one of his victims back, the full… pic.twitter.com/hpSZ43HS6T
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) April 14, 2023
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, 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.
The article link I posted from the Metro Weekly is long, so I get it. Sam and his "pup nubi" were interviewed. Since his last name #Brinton was not given- the photo of him does. Obviously Biden's team doesn't vet much, or they approved of this perverted behavior. pic.twitter.com/UA3Ji8eHCT
— Blessed (@James_Chapter_1) July 5, 2022
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.