Former senior Department of Energy (DOE) official Sam Brinton’s latest arrest this week involves his alleged theft of a Tanzanian fashion designer’s baggage in 2018, according to the designer’s lawyer.
Peter Hansen, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney representing Tanzanian fashion designer Asya Khamsin, said police executed a search warrant at Brinton’s Maryland residence Wednesday using information he shared with them. Khamsin has accused Brinton of wearing her custom designs that were packed in a luggage she reported missing in 2018 at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.
“On March 9, 2018, her luggage was stolen from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport,” Hansen told Fox News Digital in a statement. “In her bag were more than a dozen bespoke articles of clothing that she had designed, along with a number of other valuable items for her business.”
“Asya Khamsin’s business was seriously damaged by this loss, which remained a mystery until she was recently alerted to photos of Sam Brinton wearing articles from her lost luggage. She thereafter contacted the authorities,” he continued.
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Officers with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police and Montgomery County Police Department ultimately arrested Brinton on Wednesday evening after an hourlong search of the embattled former federal official’s home. Brinton is facing grand larceny charges in relation to the case.
A spokesperson for the MWAA Police, the lead law enforcement agency for both Washington, D.C., area airports, confirmed Thursday that the arrest was related to a baggage theft they learned about in February, but didn’t provide details about the theft. Fox News Digital first reported the alleged theft involving Khamsin in February.
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“Asya Khamsin, with aid of counsel, provided to the MWAA images of Mr. Brinton wearing her bespoke designs and lost jewelry, along with comparison photos showing them on models and Asya Khamsin herself,” Hansen said.
“It is our understanding that the MWAA, in conjunction with the Montgomery County police, executed a search of Mr. Brinton’s residence on Wednesday morning (May 17), and recovered a number of items matching the descriptions and images provided by Asya Khamsin,” Hansen’s statement added. “It is also our understanding that Mr. Brinton was arrested in the course of the search, presumably on the basis of the search results.”
Hansen added that he hopes police return any clothes belonging to his client that were presumably retrieved during the search of Brinton’s home.
The lawyer also said Khamsin is reviewing her options to file a civil lawsuit against Brinton.
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“Mr. Brinton is expected to face prosecution, and Asya Khamsin hopes to retrieve the seized items from the MWAA very shortly,” he continued. “Asya Khamsin is leaving her options open for a civil suit against Mr. Brinton, but has not yet filed any civil complaint.
“Asya Khamsin is a Black, female, Muslim immigrant entrepreneur, and she has built a distinguished career over forty years. She deserves credit for her works, and she calls on publications which have displayed her work without attribution to correct this misuse of her work.”
Brinton’s latest 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 also 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 Airport 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.
The DOE announced on Dec. 12 that Brinton had departed the agency, but wouldn’t comment on the reason for the departure.
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