Ex-Biden Nuclear Official Sam Brinton Arrested in 3rd Luggage Theft Case

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
May 19, 2023US News
Ex-Biden Nuclear Official Sam Brinton Arrested in 3rd Luggage Theft Case
Samuel Brinton in a file mugshot. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via The Epoch Times)

Former Biden administration nuclear waste official Samuel Brinton was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a luggage theft incident at the Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. The arrest marks the third time Brinton has come into legal peril over stolen luggage at an airport.

“Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police executed a search warrant May 17 in Montgomery County, Maryland, in connection with allegations of stolen property in luggage from Reagan National Airport that was brought to the department’s attention in February 2023,” Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police spokesperson James Johnson said in an emailed statement to NTD News on Friday.

Johnson said Brinton, 35, of Rockville, Maryland, “was taken into custody Wednesday pending charges of Grand Larceny.”

NTD News initially reported the arrest on Thursday, after a record from Montgomery County, Maryland listed Brinton as a “fugitive from justice.” A Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) spokesperson initially said the department assisted MWAA Police who lead the arrest on Wednesday evening, but additional details about the reason for the arrest weren’t immediately available.

Brinton had faced extradition to neighboring Virginia, but Maryland court records showed Brinton voluntarily waived the extradition issue on Thursday.

The February 2023 luggage theft incident at Reagan National Airport (DCA) comes after Brinton was charged with stealing a passenger’s luggage at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, in July 2022 and stealing another passenger’s luggage at the baggage claim area of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on Sept. 16, 2022. Brinton would have already been dealing with courts and lawyers from the two prior luggage theft incidents when the DCA luggage theft incident occurred.

NTD News has contacted two different attorneys who represented Brinton in these prior cases, but neither has responded.

An attorney is not yet listed in Brinton’s latest case.

Who is Sam Brinton?

Brinton, who has a Master of Science Degree, was appointed as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy. The position entails managing spent nuclear fuel and waste disposal policy for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

According to hiring documents obtained by The National Pulse via the Freedom of Information Act, Brinton’s position entailed having a top-secret “Q clearance” and receiving a $178,063 annual salary.

Brinton, prior to the DOE role, had been a drag queen and an LGBTQ+ activist. Brinton had also spoken on college campuses about “kink” and had advocated puppy dog BDSM fetish roleplay for students, The National Pulse reported.

Brinton was placed on leave in November after being charged in the first luggage theft case. By Dec. 12, the DOE confirmed Brinton was no longer employed with the department.

Brinton Previously Avoided Prison

Brinton had faced up to 15 years in prison for the first two luggage theft cases, but had avoided incarceration.

Brinton faced a felony theft charge in Nevada but pleaded no contest to misdemeanor theft on April 12, according to court records. Judge Ann Zimmerman ordered Brinton to pay $3,670 in restitution to the victim and “stay out of trouble,” according to court records.

A week after the Nevada court ruling, Brinton again avoided prison time in Minnesota through a pretrial diversion program with the Hennepin County attorney. As part of the decision, Brinton was also ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and write a letter of apology to the owner of the stolen luggage, among other requirements.

Brinton’s arrest could jeopardize his status in the pretrial diversion program. Such programs typically require participants to stay out of further legal trouble and abide by other conditions. Those who violate the diversion program terms could end up back in court. Pretrial diversion guidelines listed by the Hennepin County attorney specify that new felony charges or charges for similar offenses are grounds for termination from the program and a return to court.

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