Joe Biden’s former Department of Energy official who is accused of stealing a woman’s suitcase from Las Vegas airport has been pictured in their new mugshot after being arrested on a felony grand larceny charge.
Sam Brinton, 35, who identifies as non-binary and uses ‘they/their’ pronouns, appeared in a Las Vegas courtroom on Wednesday where the judge set their bail at $15,000. A cash bond has already been posted and Brinton was not held.
Brinton was charged for the luggage theft earlier this year at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas that was captured on security footage. They also face charges for luggage theft at the Minneapolis airport.
In court on Wednesday, Las Vegas Justice Court Judge Joe Bonaventure mentioned the Minneapolis incident and told Brinton to ‘stay out of trouble.’ Their court date for that case is on December 19 in Minnesota.
Brinton, who was appointed to his Department of Energy position in June, was out of a job on Monday, according to a statement released by the agency.
Sam Brinton, 35, who identifies as non-binary and uses ‘they/their’ pronouns, appeared in a Las Vegas courtroom on Wednesday where the judge set their bail at $15,000
Brinton was charged for the luggage theft earlier this year at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas that was captured on security footage
Brinton has been accused of stealing suitcases from airports in Las Vegas and Minneapolis.
Security footage showed Brinton walking through Harry Reid International Airport with the luggage over the summer.
The $320 case, which was lifted from a carousel, was stuffed with more than $3,000-worth of jewelry, clothes and makeup, according to 8 News Now Investigators.
According to the arrest report, a woman who had traveled from Dulles International Airport to Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas on July 6 filed a police report when she could not locate her suitcase, and after she had checked with the airline.
The stolen suitcase was described in the report as a gray, hard-shelled ‘Away’ brand ‘Bigger Carry-On’ model valued at $320.
The woman told cops her suitcase was a total value of more than $3,670, and it included jewelry, makeup, contact lenses and clothing, according to the report.
Brinton was laid off from their Department of Energy job after being accused of stealing luggage in two separate incidents at the Las Vegas airport and the Minneapolis airport
When a Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer reviewed surveillance video, the officer ‘observed several nonverbal cues, or body language anomalies, from the suspect, which caught his attention,’ the report stated.
‘Specifically, Brinton pulled the victim’s luggage from the carousel and examined the tag.
‘Then placed it back on the carousel, looking in all directions for anyone who might be watching, or might approach.
‘Pulling it back off the carousel and demonstrating the same behavior by looking around before walking away with it quickly.’
A suspect was not identified until a police officer saw a news article in November naming Brinton as a suspect in luggage theft at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport in September.
The criminal complaint from the incident in Minneapolis describes how Brinton traveled from Washington DC to Minneapolis without a checked bag, but then retrieved one from the luggage carousel once they’d landed in Minnesota.
Surveillance footage from the airport – which is yet to be released – is said to show them removing the luggage tug from the bag and placing it in their handbag.
When cops called Brinton the first time, they played dumb.
Then, Brinton phoned the authorities themselves and admitted to taking the bag but insisted it was a mistake, and that they were simply tired.
Photos in the news stories from Minneapolis matched the suspect in the Las Vegas luggage theft, according to the warrant filed this week.
In the selfie, Brinton is wearing a white shirt with a rainbow atomic nuclear symbol design. It matches the shirt the suspect is wearing in the airport surveillance video, police said
The warrant revealed that Brinton had posted to Instagram on July 6, the same day of the theft.
‘Thank you to @americannuclear for selling such a great shirt for me to wear on my flight today,’ the post said.
‘My professional society continues to grow and learn and I’m proud of them. Goodness how we have changed since my service as a chapter president and then on the National Board of Directors. #NuclearPride.’
In the selfie, Brinton is wearing a white shirt with a rainbow atomic nuclear symbol design. It matches the shirt the suspect is wearing in the airport surveillance video, police said.
Brinton also faces charges in a theft at the Minneapolis airport and they are due in court in Minnesota on December 19.
Brinton admitted to stealing a navy blue hard-sided Vera Bradley suitcase from the luggage carousel valued at $2,325 after previously lying to police and saying it was their luggage. Pictured: Brinton spotted heading to the airport on February 28, 2022
Brinton has been married to Kevin Rieck (left) since 2019. The couple began dating in 2015
The White House has repeatedly refused to comment on the scandal, claiming it is a non-political issue.
The Department of Energy has also tried to distance Biden from the issue.
Brinton was appointed in June with much fanfare.
‘Sam is also a well-known advocate for LGBTQ youth and helped to secure protections against the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy in more than half of the country,’ it said.
‘They identify as gender-fluid and use the pronouns they, them, and theirs,’ their bio reads.
On top of working in the Department of Energy, they also held seminars including a recent event on spanking.
Brinton lives in Washington DC with their husband.