On Monday, Florida sheriff's deputies arrested the evangelical pastor, who has continued to host large church services despite public orders urging residents to stay home to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said Howard-Browne has been charged with two counts: unlawful assembly and a violation of health emergency rules. Both are second-degree misdemeanors, Chronister said at a press conference Monday. Last week Hillsborough County issued an orderdirecting residents to remain at home effective March 27 except for "essential services" -- including trips to the grocery store, the doctor's office and the pharmacy. The county's list of "essential services" does not include attending church.