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US nuclear official accused of stealing another suitcase from airport

Sam Brinton, 35, was placed on leave from the Department of Energy after being accused of a first luggage theft from a Minneapolis airport in September

Bevan Hurley
Friday 09 December 2022 17:05 GMT
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A senior Biden administration official who allegedly stole a suitcase from a Minneapolis airport in September is facing a second accusation of luggage theft from a Las Vegas airport, according to reports.

Sam Brinton, a deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, is accused of grand larceny with a value of between $1,200 and $5,000, 8 News reported.

The theft allegedly occurred at Harry Reid International Airport, 8 News reported, citing sources. A felony arrest warrant has reportedly been issued, but no further details were available.

Brinton, who is non-binary and uses them/they pronouns, was facing felony theft charges after allegedly taking a suitcase from a baggage carousel at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by the Exchange Monitor, Brinton arrived on a flight from Washington DC on 16 September without checked luggage.

After a woman reported her luggage was missing, Brinton was observed on surveillance footage taking a Vera Bradley roller bag from baggage claim, the Minneapolis-St Paul Airport Police Department said.

Brinton removed the bag’s tag and then “left the area at a quick pace”, according to the legal filing.

The case and its contents were valued at $2,325.

Brinton, 35, initially denied taking the bag and then claimed they had taken it by mistake, according to court documents.

Brinton is due to appear in Hennepin County District Court on 19 December and faces a maximum term of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Brinton was appointed as deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in June.

The Department of Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a previous statement to The Independent, a spokesperson said Brinton had been placed on leave from their role.

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