When we first caught wind of this story, we thought maybe there was some kind of bizarre oral fixation that prompted a New York resident to toss a perfectly good USB thumb drive
into his mouth and swallow it like a Tylenol. As it turns out, Florin Necula was simply trying to destroy evidence seized during a federal raid.
We've seen this tactic in several spy movies, and we're guessing so did Necula. But what Necula didn't take into account was how much more durable portable flash drives are compared to paper, which is a lot easier to digest. But more on that in a minute.
First, let's discuss for a moment why the hungry New Yorker would eat a flash drive in the first place. According to The Smoking Gun, prosecutors believe Necula and three other men are behind an ATM scam. As the lawsuit goes, the bumbling bandits placed memory card readers over ATM slots in order to "skim" magnetic strip information from bank customers.
As with most ill-conceived crime rings, this one fell under the watchful eye of federal agents, who eventually busted the four men. Necula was arrested outside a bank in Queens, NY, and was then transported to a Secret Service office in Brooklyn. It was there that inspiration (or hunger) hit Necula, who then grabbed a pieced of evidence labeled "Subject Flash Drive 2" and swallowed it while federal agents looked on.
It gets even better, folks. While most of us can probably picture some poor intern being tasked with retrieving the USB key from Necula's body waste and cleaning it off, the thumb drive remained inside him for four days. At that point, it was determined that he "would be injured if they allowed the flash drive to remain inside of him.
" The solution? Surgery.
So here's where we stand. Not only is Necula still in hot water for his alleged ATM scam, but he now faces obstruction of justice charges, had to undergo surgery, and will receive 5 minutes of fame as one of the dumbest crooks of the decade.
As for the Kingston
flash drive, it's unclear whether or not it survived the ordeal. In an email to The Smoking Gun, Kingston executive Mike Sager said, "As you might imagine, we have no actual experience with someone swallowing a USB.
" Fair enough.