Sam Brinton, the embattled former senior Department of Energy (DOE) official, was arrested as a “fugitive from justice” by Maryland police late Wednesday.
According to county records reviewed by Fox News Digital, Brinton was taken into custody in Rockville. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police, which is the lead law enforcement agency for both Washington, D.C., area airports, said the arrest was related to the theft of airport luggage, the third such criminal case involving Brinton.
“Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police executed a search warrant May 17 in Montgomery County, Maryland, in connection with allegations of stolen property in luggage from Reagan National Airport that was brought to the department’s attention in February 2023,” James Johnson, a spokesperson for the MWAA, told Fox News Digital in an email.
“With the assistance of Montgomery County Police, Samuel Otis Brinton, age 35, of Rockville, Maryland, was taken into custody Wednesday pending charges of Grand Larceny,” Johnson said.
In an interview Thursday with The Daily Wire, which first reported the arrest, a witness who claimed to be Brinton’s neighbor said Brinton was arrested about an hour after four unmarked police cars arrived.
“Montgomery County Police assisted in the arrest of Sam Brinton,” Shiera Goff, a Montgomery County Police Department spokesperson, told Fox News Digital. “The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police are lead on this.”
“Brinton was arrested at approximately 10 p.m. last night in their home on College Parkway,” Goff added. “They are being held in the Montgomery County Central Processing Unit on a no-bond status as they await an extradition hearing. That’s all of the information we have on our end.”
The arrest comes a month after Brinton — who made headlines last year 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 — escaped jail time in two separate cases in Minnesota and Nevada involving luggage thefts.
Police charged Brinton in October with stealing a traveler’s baggage worth a total of $2,325 from the luggage carousel at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport after flying in from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16.
And in early December, 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 on July 6 at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. The bag contained jewelry valued at $1,700, clothing worth $850 and makeup valued at $500.
Brinton faced up to 15 years total for the two alleged thefts. However, in both cases, the presiding judges ruled jail time wasn’t necessary.
In addition, a female Tanzanian fashion designer based in Houston accused Brinton in February of wearing her custom designs that were packed in a luggage she reported missing in 2018. Houston police referred that case to the FBI.
The DOE on Dec. 12 announced that Brinton had departed the agency but wouldn’t comment on the reason for the departure.