Florida bride and caterer charged with lacing wedding dinner with marijuana
These are the stories that guests at Danya and Andrew Svoboda’s wedding told MPs after the February reception. Their feeling of being stoned was later confirmed when they tested positive for marijuana. Investigators estimated that around 50 people attended the wedding reception. None of the guests interviewed said they knew there would be marijuana in the food.
Now Danya Svoboda and wedding caterer Joycelyn Bryant have been charged with tampering with food and delivering marijuana, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor negligence.
Attempts to reach Svoboda and Bryant failed early Thursday. No attorney is listed for either woman in court documents.
As marijuana has become legal in many parts of the country, stories of dangerous incidents in which unsuspecting people, often children, consume pot-infused foods have become common. In March, three toddlers from Stafford County, Va., were hospitalized after apparently eating marijuana goldfish crackers at their daycare center, WRIC report. This month, 14 elementary school students in New Mexico were medically evaluated after eating THC gummies, one of the students brought in, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
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All of the accounts in court documents detailing the Svobodas’ wedding reception came from adults who had varying levels of experience with drugs. In Florida, medical marijuana is legal, but recreational use is prohibited.
Douglas Postma, the groom’s uncle, told deputies he had not used marijuana in many years until he ate the wedding food, according to an affidavit of arrest. It was different before, he says. This time, his heart started racing and he started having “crazy thoughts”, the affidavit states.
Postma texted her nephew to ask what was going on. Andrew Svoboda replied that he didn’t know and would look into the matter – a statement he would echo with other guests, according to the affidavit. Postma’s wife, Nancy, then went to the emergency room and became paranoid, loud and unruly, believing a member of her family had died, she later told deputies, according to the affidavit. .
Earlier, while still at reception, Nancy Postma and Belmonte, her daughter, entered the kitchen, fetching water and explaining that they weren’t feeling well. According to the affidavit, one of the staff told them, “Well, there’s cannabis in the food.
Cady told deputies she remembered seeing Bryant, the caterer, putting out food. She recalls seeing Bryant remove a “green stuff” from a bowl and place it in small dishes which were then filled with olive oil, the affidavit states. With the pepper mix, it didn’t taste like marijuana, she said, and the green stuff in the dishes might just be “Italian herbs”, she told deputies.
But after eating the bread and olive oil dip, she felt stoned.
Cady then asked Bryant if there was marijuana in the food. Bryant “laughed and shook his head yes,” the affidavit states.
Stepping out onto the dance floor, Cady found the bride and asked her if she had put cannabis in the olive oil, she told deputies. According to the affidavit, Danya Svoboda said “yes,” smiling and acting like she had given Cady a “gift.”
Rachel Penn, a neighbor of the newlyweds, told deputies that after eating the olive oil she felt “strange” and “buzzy”. Around 9 p.m., she said, the band stopped playing and the reception ended. Seminole County firefighters eventually showed up, as did sheriff’s deputies.
Sitting in a hospital, Penn texted the bride and asked what she had consumed at the wedding. Svoboda, according to the affidavit, replied via text: “Uggg, we have no idea, let us know if you need help with anything.”