Brian Humphrey, Kennedy Airport Port director for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, appreciates the 'automated system.& The 'Drug Loo.
This is the last bathroom in the city anyone would ever want to use - no matter how bad the urge.
It is called the "Drug Loo" - the dreaded destination of drug mules who try to smuggle narcotics through Kennedy Airport by hiding it inside their bodies.
Here, in an ultra-private privy, the deceit of the smuggler who is hardest to catch is finally exposed - although some still refuse to come clean.
After nature calls, this high-tech toilet sanitizes the evidence.
The commode separates the waste from what are called "pellets" or "balloons" - small latex packets of heroin, cocaine or other drugs that mules ingest or insert into their bodies.
"It is very much an automated system," Brian Humphrey, Kennedy Airport Port director for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said of the drug loo.
And that's a big relief to federal agents. Before the loo was first flushed last October, evidence recovery was a disgusting ordeal that involved officers sifting through used bed pans.
The loo is housed in a medical facility near the airport. It was built specifically for handling the suspects that agents call "internal couriers" or "swallowers."
The need for such a facility was great: At Kennedy Airport, more internal couriers are sent to the drug loo than at all of the U.S. ports monitored by Customs combined, Humphrey said.
The mules, whether lured by money or recruited by force, are pawns in a game of cat and mouse that can have deadly consequences.
On May 11, a 54-year-old man who came to JFK from Venezuela died at the medical facility when a pellet ruptured, causing him to overdose.
"There is nothing anyone can do at that point," Humphrey said.
Recently, officers have started seeing internal couriers who are in their 60s and 70s - much older than usual, Humphrey said.
A 63-year-old grandmother from Nigeria made the trip to the drug loo on Mother's Day and passed 80 pellets of heroin.
Swallowers have been known to carry between 70 and 200 pellets, for a total haul of anywhere from 1 to 4 pounds, Humphrey said.
Officers must have "reasonable suspicion" to detain a suspect - a lower standard than the "probable cause" threshold for nonborder searches.
Suspects are X-rayed at the medical facility. If results are negative, they are freed. If positive, they are arrested - and then comes a visit to the drug loo.
This year, officers have referred 47 suspects to the drug loo, and 34 had something to hide, Humphrey said. That's a success rate of about 72% - up from 62% last year.
Rooting out swallowers involves a mix of modern technology and old-fashioned police work.
Officers are stationed at overseas ports. Ten-digit fingerprinting and photographs are made. A passenger's passport and visa are analyzed. All information is run through computerized law enforcement databases.
Of crucial importance is looking closely at a passenger's documents, appearance and their story about why they are coming to the country - and making sure it all adds up.
"So much of this still comes down to gut instinct, the sixth sense of the officer, and breaking that story," Humphrey said.