This article was published at 11:12 pm, 12/12/2022
Last update: December 13, 2022 11:33 p.m.
According to multiple reports, the Department of Energy dismissed a high-ranking nuclear waste official who is accused of stealing baggage from airports.
Sam Brinton is 35 years old and is nonbinary. He is accused of stealing one bag from Harry Reid International Airport, Las Vegas in July 2022, and another from Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in September 2022.
“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee. By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters,” a spokesperson for the DOE told the Daily Beast on Monday.
Following two felony convictions for stealing airline luggage, Sam Brinton was fired from his federal nuclear waste office. (Image: YouTube)
Brinton, the Biden administration’s former deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition, faces up to 10 years in prison for the Las Vegas charge and up to five years for the Minneapolis-St. Paul charge. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police issued an arrest warrant at Las Vegas Justice Court last Thursday.
Captured on Camera
The warrant states that Brinton was captured on surveillance video stealing a suitcase worth $320, which contained more than $3500 in jewelry, clothes, and cosmetics on July 6. On July 10, an anonymous woman reported to police that her luggage had been stolen from her plane landing in Las Vegas.
According to the warrant, the footage showed a person, in a white T-shirt with a rainbow-colored atomic nuclear symbol design, removing a bag from the baggage claim area matching the description of the victim’s.
“Brinton pulled the victim’s luggage from the carousel and examined the tag, then, placing it back on the carousel, look(ed) in all directions for anyone who might be watching,” the warrant read. The warrant stated that Brinton picked up the baggage and quickly left the airport.
The Second Time around
A Las Vegas officer noticed a newspaper article that named Brinton as the suspect in an identical Sept. 16 Minneapolis–St. Paul case. The bag and contents of the bag were worth $2,325. Brinton was indicted for felony theft in this case on Oct. 26, Brinton is due to appear in Minnesota’s 4th Judicial District Court to answer that charge on Dec. 19.
Brinton was allegedly observed carrying the same bag during two trips to Washington DC. Brinton later admitted that he had taken the bag, and blamed exhaustion. Brinton was nevertheless placed on leave by the agency after the accusations.
Las Vegas Police Officer checked the flight manifest on July 6th and discovered Brinton as a passenger. A selfie was also found posted to Brinton’s Instagram featuring the nuclear symbol shirt.