A Houston-based fashion designer believes a former Department of Energy official, who is facing felony charges for stealing a suitcase from an airport luggage carousel, took her bag that went missing at a Washington DC airport last year.
Sam Brinton identifies as nonbinary and was the deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition for the DOE under the Biden administration. Brinton has been observed stealing bags from multiple airports, including Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Asya Khamsin, a Tanzanian fashion designer, tweeted an image of one of her custom outfits next to an image of Brinton in a seemingly identical top that was published by The Telegraph.
“I lost my bag 2018 in DCA,” Khamsin wrote. “I heard the news on [Fox News] about [Sam Brinton’s] luggage issue surprisingly I found his images wore my custom made [outfits which] was in the lost bag on 2018.”
She shared additional examples of her clothing seemingly being worn by Brinton at public events.
My name is Asyakhamsin tanzanian fashion designer based in houston Texas USA 🇺🇸 I lost my bag 2018 in DCA recently I heard the news on @FoxNews about @sambrinton luggage issue surprisingly I found his images wore my custom made outfitswhich was in the lost bag on 2018 pic.twitter.com/lJwLHtMJlz
— asyakhamsin (@asyakhamsin1) February 20, 2023
Twitter users began sending Khamsin other images of Brinton, where she recognized clothing that had been in her missing bag.
Yes that is also my custom made and it was on the lost bag
— asyakhamsin (@asyakhamsin1) February 22, 2023
Even this jewellery was in my lost bag dah pic.twitter.com/cXnhuoDTl3
— asyakhamsin (@asyakhamsin1) February 23, 2023
Khamsin told Fox News that she had traveled to Washington DC to display her clothing at an event. She could not participate, however, when her bag went missing. She and her husband filed a report with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department, but the bag was never recovered.
Khamsin also contacted Delta Airlines, asking for the company’s assistance in recovering her bag. In an email, she noted the bag had “expensive clothes, shoes, jewelry and other personal belongings.”
When she recognized her clothing in photos of Brinton, Khamsin filed a complaint with the Houston Police Department in December. In January, she was contacted by the Minneapolis field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Khamsin’s husband told Fox that an agent called “to say, ‘I’m [with] the FBI, I’m working on this case.’”
“Then my wife gave him the information and we didn’t hear anything. We don’t know whether the case is on,” he said. “We don’t know whether the case is cold.”
Brinton was charged in October with stealing a Vera Bradley bag containing women’s clothing valued at $2,325. The former Biden administration official was reportedly observed with the bag on two occasions – including on surveillance footage reviewed by law enforcement – after it was taken from the airport on Sept. 16.
After initially denying the charges, Brinton admitted to taking the bag but denied taking the clothes.
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual,” Brinton initially told police officers, per The New York Post. “That was my clothes when I opened the bag.”
The charges from the incident include felony theft of a moveable property without consent.
Additional felony grand larceny charges were filed against Brinton in December in Las Vegas, where he is believed to have stolen luggage from Harry Reid International Airport. The bag and its contents were valued between $1,200 and $5,000. The theft reported took place in July.
According to The Rolling Stone:
The case was initially closed as law enforcement failed to identify Brinton, who was captured on CCTV footage removing a woman’s luggage from baggage claim. Following news reports of the incident in Minneapolis, the detective assigned to the case recognized Brinton. Law enforcement secured an identification by cross referencing the clothing they were wearing in security footage — a shirt with a rainbow atomic nuclear symbol — with social media posts from the day the luggage was stolen.
Brinton was arrested in Las Vegas, where a judge set his bail at $15,000. Bail was posted and Brinton left police custody.
The Biden Administration had called Brinton’s arrest and alleged crimes a non-political issue and refused to comment.
Brinton was fired by the Department of Energy in December prior to his arrest.