nonbinary former biden official sam brinton accused of serial luggage theft released without bail

Samuel Brinton, the former Biden administration senior Department of Energy official facing charges for alleged airport baggage theft, was released from a Minnesota facility Wednesday without bail. 

Brinton was charged with stealing a woman’s luggage worth $2,325 near the baggage claim area at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport on Sept. 16. 

A judge ordered him to not have contact with any of the victims, the Washington Examiner reported. He was slated to appear in court Dec. 19, but the date was changed at the request of his lawyers. 


Sam Brinton attends The Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA 2019 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 17, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. He faces theft charges in two states for alleged baggage thefts.  (Tasia Wells/Getty Images for The Trevor Project)

Brinton oversaw nuclear waste policy at the Department of Energy but departed the agency last year. 

“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee,” an agency spokesperson told Fox News. “By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters.”

He faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In a separate case in Nevada, Brinton is accused of stealing a bag worth $3,670 at Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport on June 6, 2022. The bag contained jewelry valued at $1,700, clothing worth $850 and makeup valued at $500. 

Las Vegas investigators re-opened their probe into the theft amid media reports of the Minnesota case. In the Nevada case, Brinton faces up t o 10 years in prison. In December. He was released after his bail was set at $15,000. 

Brinton left the DOE soon after the alleged thefts came to light. A reason for his departure was never made public but the agency had faced pressure from Republican lawmakers over his employment status and security clearance.

Las Vegas police booked non0binary former nuclear official Sam Brinton at a Clark County, Nevada, detention center on Wednesday.

Las Vegas police booked non0binary former nuclear official Sam Brinton at a Clark County, Nevada, detention center on Wednesday. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)


“The reported details of Sam Brinton’s thievery are bizarre and disturbing,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told Fox News Digital in December. “Americans deserve transparency about who and what their taxpayer dollars are funding.”

Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report. 

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