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Ex-Biden Energy Official Sam Brinton Spared Jail Time After Being Convicted of Grand Larceny

Published: April 14, 2023
Sam Brinton, a former seniro Department of Energy official under the Biden administration pleaded “no contest” to grand larceny charges levied against him after he was caught stealing women’s suitcases from various American airports. (Image: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

Sam Brinton, a former senior Department of Energy (DOE) official for the Biden administration has been spared jail time after he was convicted of grand larceny for stealing women’s suitcases from American airports.

According to Clark County, Nevada criminal court records he was ordered to pay $3,670.74 to one victim and an additional $500 in fines and fees, Fox News reported. He was handed a 180-day suspended jail sentence by Clark County Judge Ann Zimmerman who then ordered Brinton to “stay out of trouble.”

Brinton had pleaded “no contest” to the charges and waived his right to a trial. 

The courts found that Brinton was guilty of theft of an item with a value of less than $1,200.

Last December, prosecutors charged Brinton with grand larceny of an item valued between $1,200 and $5,000 after he stole a suitcase containing items estimated to be worth around $3,670 on July 6 at the Harry Reid International Airport (HRIA) in Las Vegas. 

The bag’s contents are said to have included jewelry valued at $1,700, clothing worth $850 and makeup valued at around $500.

In July, 2022 police began reviewing security camera footage at the HRIA after a woman reported that one of her checked bags was missing. A Las Vegas detective wrote in a police report concerning the incident that “a white male adult wearing a T-shirt with a large rainbow colored atomic nuclear symbol design” removed the bag in question before rushing out of the airport. Investigators were able to quickly identify Brinton as the thief. 


In a separate incident, Brinton was also identified as the culprit in another theft at an airport in Minnesota. After charges were laid in the Las Vegas case they reopened their investigation into the Minnesota incident and immediately recognized Brinton as the suspect.

According to Fox News, in a December, 2022 report by a lead detective, “Brinton demonstrated several signs of abnormal behavior while taking the victim’s luggage which are cues suspects typically give off when committing luggage theft,” adding that, “Specifically, Brinton pulled the victim’s luggage from the carousel and examined the tag.”

“Then placing it back on the carousel, looking in all directions for anyone who might be watching, or might approach,” he wrote, adding that, “Pulling it back off the carousel and demonstrating the same behavior by looking around before walking away with it quickly. Brinton only having checked one piece of luggage, which Brinton had already claimed from the carousel, had no reason to be examining and taking any other pieces of luggage.”

Brinton was arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Dec. 14 on an outstanding arrest warrant and released on bond. He faced 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The case against Brinton concerning the Minnesota incident is still ongoing with the next hearing date set for April 17.