Toilet at Kennedy Airport Sifts Drugs

Sunday, May 29, 2011  |  Updated 12:15 PM EDT
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Toilet at Kennedy Airport Sifts Drugs

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Drug couriers who try to smuggle illegal substances into the country likely won't go far if they try to enter through John F. Kennedy Airport.

Since October, the airport has been sending suspected smugglers to its "Drug Loo" -- a high-tech toilet that sifts out drugs from a person's waste, then sanitizes it as evidence.

Before the toilet was installed, federal agents had to sift through used bed pans.

The Daily News says the new toilet separates the waste from "pellets" or "balloons" -- small latex packets of heroin, cocaine or other drugs that couriers swallow or insert into their bodies.

At Kennedy Airport, more drug mules are sent to the drug loo than at all of the U.S. ports monitored by Customs combined, Kennedy Airport Port director for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Brian Humphrey told the News.

Swallowers have been known to carry between 70 and 200 pellets, for a total haul of anywhere from one to four pounds.

This year, officers have referred 47 suspects to the drug loo, and 34 had something to hide, Humphrey said.

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