FIRST ON FOX: Non-binary Biden administration official faces up to five years in prison for allegedly stealing luggage in Minnesota now faces up to 10 years in prison for stealing another bag in Nevada, police report says obtained by Fox News Digital.
Samuel Brinton — who has served as the Department of Energy’s (DOE) deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposal since June — allegedly stole a suitcase with an estimated total value of $3,670 on 6 July at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, according to a statement filed Wednesday by a detective with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD). The bag contained jewelry worth $1,700, clothing worth $850 and makeup worth $500.
The detective wrote in the report that a woman traveling from Washington, DC to Las Vegas on July 6 reported one of her checked bags missing shortly after the incident. Police then reviewed security camera footage and observed “a white adult male wearing a white T-shirt with a large rainbow-colored atomic nuclear symbol design” removing luggage that matched the description of the victim of her missing bag before quickly leaving the airport.
Police closed the investigation, however, after they were unable to identify the person who took the suitcase.
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However, on November 29, after media reports highlighting Brinton’s alleged flight from a Minnesota airport surfaced, investigators reopened the case since the suspect matched Brinton’s description. Reviewing the news reports, the officer who had closed the case months earlier “immediately recognized ‘Brinton’ as the suspect in this case.”
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Police were later able to confirm that Brinton had traveled on the same flight to Las Vegas as the victim on July 6 and found an Instagram post in which Brinton posted a selfie wearing the same rainbow-colored atomic symbol shirt .
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“Brinton exhibited several signs of abnormal behavior while carrying the victim’s luggage, which are clues suspects typically give when committing luggage theft,” Detective LVMPD wrote in the report. “Specifically, Brinton removed the victim’s luggage from the carousel and examined the tag.”
“Then put it back on the carousel, looking in all directions for anyone who might be watching or approaching,” he continued. “Removing it from the carousel and demonstrating the same behavior by looking around before quickly driving off with it. Brinton having checked in only one piece of baggage, which Brinton had already claimed from the carousel, had no reason to examine and ‘take other baggage.’
The statement concluded that there was probable cause that Brinton had committed a grand theft with intent to permanently deprive the owner of property valued at $3,670. In Nevada, grand theft of items worth more than $3,500 is considered a Class B felony and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to at $10,000.
A warrant for Brinton’s arrest was issued Thursday.
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Brinton, meanwhile, is scheduled to appear in Minnesota state court later this month to face similar charges following a September incident at Minneapolis St. Paul airport (MSP ). Police charged Brinton with stealing a suitcase worth $2,325 from an MSP baggage carousel on Sept. 16, according to a criminal complaint filed Oct. 26.
Minneapolis police also observed, via security camera footage, Brinton picking up a suitcase before removing its tag and rushing off. Brinton blamed the grabbing of the bag on fatigue during a brief call with a police officer.
Shortly after Brinton was indicted in October, the DOE quietly furloughed Brinton but offered no explanation. The agency confirmed Brinton was on leave, but declined to provide further information, saying it does not comment on personnel matters.
“Sam Brinton is on leave from the DOE, and Dr. Kim Petry is serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposal,” a DOE spokesperson previously told Fox News Digital.
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Republican lawmakers expressed concern, arguing that Americans deserved more information about whether Brinton continues to receive government paychecks and whether the DOE revoked Brinton’s security clearance.
Brinton made headlines after being appointed to the nuclear waste policy oversight position at the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy as a non-binary and fluent individual. Brinton also posted about her membership in the so-called Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag queen group.