On Tuesday, Sam Brinton, the former senior Department of Energy (DOE) official, avoided jail time in a grand larceny case that dates back to July 2022. The Clark County, Nevada, criminal court ordered Brinton to pay $3,670.74 to the victim in the case and $500 in additional fees. Judge Ann Zimmerman then handed Brinton a 180-day suspended jail sentence and ordered Brinton to “stay out of trouble.”
The case began in early December when Las Vegas prosecutors charged Brinton with grand larceny of an item valued between $1,200 and $5,000. Police accused Brinton of stealing a suitcase with a total estimated worth of $3,670 at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. The bag contained jewelry valued at $1,700, clothing worth $850, and makeup valued at $500.
According to a police report, a woman traveling from Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas on July 6 reported one of her checked bags missing shortly after the incident. Police then reviewed security camera footage and observed a white male adult wearing a white T-shirt with a large rainbow-colored atomic nuclear symbol design removing baggage that matched the victim’s description of her missing bag before quickly exiting the airport.
Remember him? Biden’s DEA employee Sam Brinton was given a plea deal for Felony Theft – Gets a 180 day suspended sentence, & only has to pay back $3,670 for the luggage he stole. One-sided justice! pic.twitter.com/7aCaxTEBR2
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) April 14, 2023
However, following a brief investigation, detectives closed the case after they were unable to identify the suspect. In late November, however, after it was reported Brinton had been accused of a separate airport theft in Minnesota, investigators reopened the case. Upon viewing news articles about the Minnesota charges, the officer who had closed the Las Vegas case months earlier “immediately recognized” Brinton “as the suspect pertaining to this case.”
On Dec. 14, Brinton was booked by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on the outstanding arrest warrant in the case and released on bond. Brinton faced up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine in the case.
Brinton had previously made headlines after being appointed to the position that oversees nuclear waste policy at the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy as a non-binary gender-fluid person. The DOE announced on Dec. 12 that Brinton had departed the agency but wouldn’t comment on the reason for the departure after the charges in Minnesota and Nevada.
Brinton’s case in Minnesota is still ongoing, with the next hearing slated for Monday. No further updates on the case have been released.