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Florida bride, caterer charged after wedding guests drugged with cannabis at reception

Click to play video: 'Florida bride, caterer allegedly spike wedding food with marijuana' Florida bride, caterer allegedly spike wedding food with marijuana
Investigators are blaming a bride and her caterer in Seminole, Fla., for making wedding guests sick by allegedly secretly spiking the food with marijuana – Apr 26, 2022

A Florida bride and caterer have been arrested after they were accused of spiking a reception dinner with cannabis without their guests’ knowledge.

Danya Svoboda, the 42-year-old bride, and Jocelyn Bryant, the 31-year-old owner of the catering company, were charged with delivery of marijuana, culpable negligence and tampering after many wedding guests became ill from the laced food.

Seminole County police responded to the Feb. 19 wedding after a 41-year-old guest reported that it felt like there “were drugs inside” him, despite only having consumed food and alcohol at the party.

Body camera footage retrieved from police who were on the scene shows guests being taken away on stretchers and a grinning bride.

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Caterers can be seen trying to exit the reception and wheeling away food and supplies as Florida police enter the clubhouse where the party took place. A man who was blurred out in the video can be heard telling police that they “all have been affected, somehow, by what was put in the food.”

Police tell the man not to drive in his condition before walking across the lawn to interview the bride and groom.

“Supposedly your food had cannabis inside of it,” a deputy asked the newly wedded couple. “Did you guys authorize that?”

Andrew Svoboda, Danya’s groom, stutters, “I have no idea.” His face is blurred in the footage and he has not been charged.

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According to court documents, police noticed that Andrew had “a blank expression” on his face and it takes him a couple of seconds to respond to the officer’s question.

The bride can be seen in the footage smiling behind her husband. She shakes her head no when police ask again if they authorized for cannabis to be put in the food.

Court documents estimate that around 50 guests attended the cannabis-laced reception, and at least 18 people reported feeling high or ill after eating. Some were vomiting and requested to be taken to hospital.

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First responders who treated guests at the scene said their symptoms were “consistent with that of someone who had used illegal drugs.” Some guests who were treated in hospital took urine tests that came back positive for cannabis consumption.

One guest, Jeffery Belmonte, told police that he “felt weird, tingly, fidgety and had extreme dry mouth,” after eating. He went to ask the best man, Matthew Svoboda, what was going on and found “he was incoherent and could not answer a question.”

Miranda Cady, another victim, told investigations that she saw Bryant, the caterer, put spoonfuls of a green mixture into the olive oil that accompanied the bread. Cady recognized Bryant from a prior event that Danya had organized and asked Bryant if there was marijuana in the food. Cady said Bryant giggled and shook her head yes.

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Cady confronted Danya on the dance floor and the bride reportedly admitted to spiking the food. Cady says that Danya “acted like (she) should be excited as if she were given a gift.”

One victim who ate laced food described feeling like she “had no control of her mind and body.”

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While being treated in hospital, the victim became paranoid that one of her family members had died and that she hadn’t been notified. She became “loud and unruly” in the emergency room and needed to be administered something to help her calm down.

Investigators collected food and glassware from the event to test for illegal substances.

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They also found that food had been dumped on the lawn of a property that neighboured the clubhouse. When samples of bread and lasagna found in the bags were tested, the results came back positive for THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.

Court records show that Danya and Bryant made bail and were released from Seminole County Jail. They will both be arraigned in June.

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