Law enforcement officials in Nevada discovered this week that Biden administration official Sam Brinton allegedly stole luggage at Harry Reid International Airport over the summer because they recognized Brinton when they saw media reports alleging that he was involved in luggage theft at another airport across the country.
Brinton, who has a high-level position at the Department of Energy as the deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition, was already placed on leave after he allegedly stole a woman’s luggage at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport late last month.
Brinton is now accused of stealing $1,700 worth of jewelry, $850 worth of clothing, and makeup worth $500 from the suitcase that he allegedly stole in Las Vegas.
Investigators said that “a white male adult wearing a white T-shirt with a large rainbow colored atomic nuclear symbol design” was seen on security camera footage taking the woman’s bag before leaving the airport.
Police claim they could not identify the person, so the case was closed, until investigators recognized Brinton due to the media coverage that he received last week for allegedly stealing luggage in Minnesota.
“Brinton demonstrated several signs of abnormal behavior while taking the victim’s luggage which are cues suspects typically give off when committing luggage theft,” investigators in Las Vegas wrote in their report. “Specifically, Brinton pulled the victim’s luggage from the carousel and examined the tag.”
“Then placing it back on the carousel, looking in all directions for anyone who might be watching, or might approach,” the report continued. “Pulling it back off the carousel and demonstrating the same behavior by looking around before walking away with it quickly. Brinton only having checked one piece of luggage, which Brinton had already claimed from the carousel, had no reason to be examining and taking any other pieces of luggage.”
The charges that Brinton faces in both states are felonies. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine in Nevada, and five years in prison and a $10,000 fine in Minnesota.
Brinton, who has caused a lot of controversy in his role in the federal government for dressing in drag and boasting online about his puppy role-play fetish, has been placed on leave, but the administration did not state whether he was still receiving a taxpayer-funded paycheck.