LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An attorney for Sam Brinton, the former U.S. Department of Energy official accused of stealing luggage in two separate cases in two different states, including at the Las Vegas airport, filed a motion Tuesday requesting a “reasonable bail” amount, according to court records.
A warrant issued on Dec. 8 for a felony grand larceny charge in Las Vegas Justice Court was still active as of Tuesday afternoon. A motion to recall the arrest warrant and to allow Brinton to walk through jail and be released, or to set a reasonable bail as the alternative was filed Tuesday, court records showed.
Brinton’s attorney also reached out to the Clark County District Attorney’s office asking for an agreement for a $15,000 bail, District Attorney Steve Wolfson told the 8 News Now Investigators. Prosecutors agreed to the amount in part because Brinton is not considered to be violent or a flight risk, Wolfson said. However, it will be up to a judge to decide the conditions of any release.
Brinton, who is non-binary and uses the pronouns “they” and “them,” is accused of stealing luggage at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas in July.
A woman who had traveled from Dulles International Airport to Reid airport on July 6 said she could not locate a piece of her luggage that she had checked with United Airlines. She filed a police report four days later. The luggage was described as gray with a hard shell, and an “Away” brand “Bigger Carry-On” model valued at $320, documents said.
The woman told police her stolen property had a total value of more than $3,670, and included jewelry, makeup, contact lenses and clothing, documents said.
A Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer reviewed surveillance video and “observed several nonverbal cues, or body language anomalies, from the suspect, which caught his attention,” according to the warrant.
“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,” the warrant said.
Police reviewed possible leads but were unsuccessful in identifying the suspect until an officer saw a news article in November identifying Sam Brinton as a suspect in luggage theft at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport on Sept. 16.
Photos in the news stories matched the suspect in the Las Vegas luggage theft, according to the warrant.
Detectives found Brinton’s Instagram page with a post dated July 6, according to police. The T-shirt in the photo and surveillance video matched, police said.
Brinton, 35, was a deputy assistant secretary of the office of spent fuel and waste disposition, according to the Office of Nuclear Energy’s website.
On Monday, the Department of Energy confirmed that Brinton was no longer an employee.
A hearing is set to discuss Brinton’s motion on Wednesday morning.