Ex-Energy Department Nuclear Waste Chief Sam Brinton, who identifies as non-binary, pleaded “no contest” on Wednesday to stealing luggage from different passengers at the Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport in July 2022.
The 35-year-old ex-Biden administration employee was ordered to pay $3,670.74 in restitution to the victim. He received no jail time but instead received a 180-day suspended sentence.
Brinton was originally facing felony charges since the amount of the stolen property was over $1,200. As part of his plea deal, his charge was dropped to a misdemeanor.
Brinton has participated in several incidences of luggage theft. In all cases, he has walked away with no jail time.
Prior to his arrest in Las Vegas, Brinton worked at the Office of Nuclear Energy. He was responsible for radioactive waste and nuclear fuel. After being collared by police, the Office of Nuclear Energy’s website announced Brinton was no longer an employee.
The kleptomaniac faces even more charges in a different case. On July 6, 2022, he was caught on film at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport ripping the ID tag from a passenger’s Vera Bradley bag and leaving the airport with the stolen luggage in tow.
According to NY Post, Brinton claimed this was accidental and that he would return the owner’s belongings, which were valued at $2,325.
Brinton posted a selfie to Instagram wearing a shirt that was also worn by the luggage thief during the July 6 incident. Brinton’s photo was posted the same day as the theft.
“Thank you to @americannuclear for selling such a great shirt for me to wear on my flight today,” he captioned the image.
Brinton was charged over the incident with felony theft in October 2022.
Asya Khasmin, a Tanzanian fashion designer based out of Houston, TX came forward earlier this year when she noticed then-U.S. official Brinton being photographed wearing what appeared to be her one-of-a-kind handmade pieces.
The image of Brinton in the garment was published in a February 2022 issue of the Italian version of Vanity Fair titled “All the style of Sam Brinton”.
“I saw the images. Those were my custom designs, which were lost in that bag in 2018. [They] were my clothes, which was [sic] stolen.”
Khamsin, lovingly referred to as the mother of Tanzanian fashion, “mama wa mitindo,” claimed she had lost luggage in a Washington D.C. airport in 2018, (four years before both the Minnesota and Nevada cases came to light). She had given up ever seeing her pieces again.
The luggage stolen contained no less than 30 handmade pieces from the designer, including one-of-a-kind jewelry Brinton was later photographed wearing.
“I was thinking, ‘Who took my bag, where is it?’ for a long time. Then I see images of the outfits [being worn by Brinton, and I was so confused and upset. I was thinking, where did they get those clothes – because I didn’t think they were a thief.”
The photo of Brinton below shows him wearing one of Khamsin’s pieces to a Trevor Project event in 2018, shortly after Khamsin’s luggage was stolen from the DC airport.
The incident in Minnesota is still ongoing and if Brinton is found guilty he faces up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.