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Former Biden Nuclear Official Arrested as ‘Fugitive of Justice’ in Luggage Theft Case

Sam Brinton stole bag from airports in Minnesota and Nevada in 2022

The Biden administration’s non-binary nuclear energy official who made headlines after stealing luggage from airports has been arrested as a “fugitive of justice.”

Sam Brinton is a former nuclear waste expert for the Department of Energy who was arrested after stealing luggage from airports in at least two cities across the United States. 

Briton, who identifies as non-binary, was taken into custody on May 17 at his home in Maryland at the request of Metropolitan Washington Airport. Brinton was taken to Montgomery County Detention Center and held overnight in preparation for an appearance before Judge Victor Del Pino on May 18. Brinton is being held without bond.

Brinton made headlines last year after news of a potential pattern of airport luggage thefts surfaced.

Brinton initially denied taking a bag from the luggage carousel at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sept. 16. The Vera Bradley bag was reported to have a total value of $2,235. Brinton was charged with felony theft of a movable property without consent and was facing the possibility of five years in jail.

As part of an adult diversion, Brinton was required to write a letter of apology, return stolen items to the victim, and complete three days of community service. Brinton also agreed to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Brinton was ordered to pay over $3,670 to the owner of a bag Brinton stole in December 2022 from the Harry Reid International Airport. Brinton was seen on surveillance footage with the stolen bag in July. Law enforcement in Nevada charged Brinton with felony grand larceny, but the 35-year-old avoided serving jail time. 

At the time of Brinton’s arrest in Las Vegas, the Biden Administration said the incident and alleged crimes were a non-political issue and refused to comment

The Department of Energy confirmed to the media in December that Brinton was no longer an employee

In February 2023, a Houston-based fashion designer publicly accused Brinto of stealing her bag from Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. in 2018. Asya Khamsin wrote on Twitter that she had lost a bag containing custom outfits after traveling to DC to display her designs at an event. After Brinton’s thefts were reported by the media, Khamsin said she recognized her items in images of Brinton, filed a complaint with police in Houston, and was subsequently contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Khamsin shared images of Brinton alongside her personal photos of the clothing. 

Brinton graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with dual master’s degrees in nuclear engineering and technology and policy programming. Brinton has performed as a drag queen and is involved in LGBTQ activism.

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