Florin Necula, 32, who is from Romania, pleaded guilty Wednesday to fraud for stealing credit and debit card numbers from ATMs electronically and obstruction of justice for swallowing the USB drive, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.
"I swallowed a computer thumb drive," Necula told U.S. Magistrate Viktor Pohorelsky.
"I'm sorry, what did you do with the drive?" Pohorelsky asked.
"I swallowed it," Necula repeated.
Necula, who swallowed the drive at the time of his January arrest, told the judge he believed it contained evidence that could be used against him. The drive was removed from Necula's intestinal tract by a surgeon after authorities obtained a warrant.
Necula is facing as much as four years in prison followed by deportation to Romania.