Sam Brinton, a genderfluid drag queen who holds a top position in Team Biden’s Department of Energy, was charged with felony theft after allegedly stealing a woman’s luggage at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport.
As Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy in the Department of Energy, Brinton oversees America’s nuclear power plants.
On September 16, law enforcement at MSP Airport were alerted to a missing suitcase in the baggage claim area. The adult female victim said she flew into MSP on a Delta flight from New Orleans and went to retrieve her checked bag at carousel seven only to find it was missing, according to a report by Alpha News in Minnesota.
Airport records confirmed the navy-blue Vera Bradley roller bag arrived at 4:40 p.m. but was missing from the carousel. According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement reviewed video surveillance footage from the baggage claim and observed Brinton removing a navy-blue roller bag from carousel seven.
The victim said the estimated value of the bag and its contents was around US$2,325.
The complaint says Brinton removed a luggage tag from the bag, placed it into a handbag he was carrying, and “then left the area at a quick pace.” Brinton arrived at MSP Airport around 4:27 p.m. on an American Airlines flight from Washington, D.C., but did not check a bag, meaning he had no reason to visit baggage claim, according to the complaint.
Police showed the surveillance video to the victim and she confirmed it was her bag.
Brinton left the airport in an Uber for a stay at the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront hotel, where he checked in with the blue bag, the complaint says.
He returned to MSP on Sept. 18 with the bag in hand for a departing flight back to Washington, D.C., authorities allege.
Surveillance video from Dulles International Airport shows Brinton traveling with the bag on an Oct. 9 return trip from Europe, the complaint notes.
Police questioned Brinton about the missing bag in an Oct. 9 phone call and asked him directly if he “took anything that did not belong” to him.
“Not that I know of,” Brinton allegedly responded. He later admitted to taking the bag but said the clothes inside were his, according to the complaint.
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual. That was my clothes when I opened the bag,” he told police, according to the complaint.
Brinton allegedly called the investigating officer two hours later and apologized for not being “completely honest.” This time Brinton said he took the bag because he was tired and thought it was his, the complaint says.
He allegedly told police that he realized the bag didn’t belong to him when he opened it up at the hotel but “got nervous” and didn’t “know what to do.” Worried that people would think he “stole the bag,” Brinton told police he left the victim’s clothes in the drawers in the hotel room, according to the complaint.
Brinton said he brought the bag back to D.C. with him because it would have been “weirder” to leave a bag in the hotel room, according to police.
Police told Brinton how to return the bag to Delta, but as of October 27 the victim still had not received her bag back.
Police also learned that no clothing was recovered from the hotel room.
Brinton’s first court hearing is scheduled for December 19 in Hennepin County.
The Department of Energy declined to comment on Brinton’s case and his attorneys did not respond to multiple requests for comment.