A designer says that in 2018, her clothes mysteriously vanished from an airport.
On Wednesday, a Tanzanian-born designer residing in Houston claimed that clothes worn by a previous Department of Energy (DOE) official named Sam Brinton were in the suitcase she reported stolen from the nation’s capital the year before.
According to Asya Khamsin, a longtime designer and maker of her clothing line, the former official appears to be wearing her outfits in various images from a recent story on Brinton’s charges of stealing several luggage items across the country.
Khamsin claimed that she lost a bag containing identical clothes on March 9, 2018, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
During an interview, she said to the press that the clothes were her belongings and that they were stolen and Sam wore them. She added that it was clear to her because, in 2018, she misplaced the suitcase containing her custom-made designs.
Khamsin continued by saying that she had flown to Washington, D.C., for a special event where she was asked to show off some of her designs. But she was unable to join because her bag had vanished.
She and her husband reported the apparent theft of her bag to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department shortly after it occurred, but the case was never solved. Also, they made a claim with the airline she flew with from Houston to Washington, DC: Delta Air Lines.
The media accessed messages between Khamsin and Delta Flight Lines employees from March 2018. She begged them to help her find her lost bag, which she said contained thousands of dollars worth of clothing, shoes, jewelry, and other valuables.
Khamsin reported Brinton to the Houston Police on December 16 after seeing clothes that matched those in her missing luggage in the news. In late January, the FBI’s Minneapolis field office contacted her about the complaint, as confirmed by Khamsin’s spouse.
Since the FBI does not comment on pending investigations, they had to decline to do so. No criminal charges are pending against Brinton concerning Khamsin’s allegations at the time of publication.
However, Brinton, who was chosen last summer as the Department of Energy’s deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition, is facing significant prison time and hefty fines in connection with two separate baggage theft incidents.
Prosecutors in Minnesota charged Brinton on October 26 with stealing a $2,325 luggage from a baggage carousel at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport in September. Following a court hearing last week, Brinton was released without bond despite facing up to five years in prison for the alleged offense.
Then, at the beginning of December, Nevada authorities accused Brinton of felony theft of a thing between $1,200 and $5,000. On July 6 at Las Vegas’s Harry Reid International Airport, Brinton was charged with stealing luggage worth $3,670. The judge set bail in the case at $15,000 and released Brinton on the condition that he “keep out of trouble.”
According to the allegations, Brinton had stolen suitcases from the baggage carousels at airports in Minnesota and Nevada after flying from Washington, D.C.
On December 12, the Department of Energy announced Brinton’s departure from the agency, citing the charges in Minnesota and Nevada as the reason. When asked to comment on personnel, a DOE spokesman claimed the department could not.
When asked for comment, Brinton’s attorney remained silent.