A Florida bride and her wedding caterer have been criminally charged after serving food laced with marijuana to their wedding guests, sickening them and sending several to hospital.
Danya Shea Svoboda, 42, and Jocelyn Montrinice Bryant, 31, who catered her wedding, face charges of violating Florida’s anti-tampering laws, delivery of marijuana and culpable negligence.
On 19 February, Seminole county deputies arrived at a community clubhouse where fire rescue personnel were treating multiple wedding guests for “symptoms consistent with that of someone who has used illegal drugs”.
Upon asking the bride and groom whether they had consented to or requested any of the food to contain cannabis products, the groom, Andrew Svoboda, “stared at [a deputy] with a blank expression for a few moments before stuttering through a ‘no’,” said their arrest warrant affidavit.
Authorities tried to locate the manager of the catering service but found all of the catering staff leaving the premises. They collected used glassware and utensils, as well as food including lasagna, chocolate-covered strawberries and pudding “shots”.
Wedding guests who were treated for symptoms reportedly said they felt “high”, “ill”, and “stoned”.
One guest who ate the Caesar salad, tortellini and bread with an olive oil and herb dip said he “felt tingly, his heart started to race, and was having crazy thoughts”, adding that he had used marijuana years ago but that this experience “felt different to him”.
Another guest who ate the salad, dip and three meatballs said he felt “weird, tingly, fidgety, and had extreme dry mouth”.
One guest began vomiting, and another grew paranoid that her son-in-law had died and her family had not told her.
One of the guests claimed to have seen the caterer reach into a punch bowl and remove a green substance, saying she could detect a “strong odor of marijuana”. So, according to the affidavit, she asked the caterer if there was marijuana in the food. The caterer “giggled and shook her head yes”, she said; the guest asked “if this was for real” and the caterer repeated “yes”.
Several guests went to a hospital, where THC was found in their blood; food samples collected at the wedding also contained THC.
According to the affidavit, Svoboda “agreed to and allowed Joycelyn Montrinice Bryant to lace the food she served … with cannabis unbeknownst to the attendees, many of whom became very ill and required medical attention.”
“I don’t know why. I think that is the biggest question on all of our minds in speaking with some of the family members,” one guest told WESH 2. “We want an explanation.”