SWAT team serves search warrant — five Susanville residents taken into custody

Five Susanville residents were taken into custody and booked into the Lassen County Jail after the Lassen County Sheriff Office’s Special Weapons and Tactics team served a high-risk search warrant at a Dillion Court residence in the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 8.

According to a statement from the LCSO, the SWAT team was deployed due to the “risk to public safety and complexity of the location.” The LCSO Drone Team also deployed.

Those taken into custody are: Drew Dixon, 37, of Susanville (charged with felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of a short-barreled shotgun, possession of an assault rifle, own/possess a firearm without a serial number, possession of a large capacity magazine, possession of a baton, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia); Ameko Vaismasanuu, Jr., 36, of Susanville (resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance); Paula Dixon, 59, of Susanville (resisting arrest); Donald Luna, 59, of Susanville (resisting arrest); and Jenna Miles, 25, of Susanville (felony grand theft of a firearm, vandalism, trespass and failure to appear).

According to a statement from the LCSO, upon the arrival of the SWAT Team at the residence, Crisis Negotiation Team members utilized a public address system to call the occupants out of the residence.

Drew Dixon immediately exited the rear of the residence and fled the area on foot, but the Drone Team observed him and directed perimeter units to his location where he was taken into custody.

SWAT Team members determined several people remained inside the residence refusing to surrender, and the CNT continued to use the PA system to order the remaining occupants out of the residence. Miles exited the residence and was taken into custody without incident.

The CNT members continued to utilize the PA system to negotiate a peaceful surrender of the remaining occupants to no avail.

SWAT Team members then deployed a pepper-type gas into the residence to get the remaining occupants to surrender. CNT members continued to direct the remaining occupants to exit the residence.

A few minutes later, three occupants, all suffering from the effects of the gas, exited the residence, surrendered and were taken into custody without further incident.

A search of the residence yielded several illegal firearms, ammunition and controlled substances. Several of the firearms seized were AR-15 and SKS-style assault rifles with high-capacity magazines. A sawed-off shotgun was also seized.

In November 2022, the LCSO applied for a Gun Violence Reduction Program grant from the California Department of Justice. The grant funds were approved and awarded to the LCSO. The grant funds are currently being used to target prohibited persons who are in possession of firearms. This operation is a direct result of the grant funding, provided by the GVRP grant.

The LCSO thanks the California Highway Patrol, the Susanville Police Department and the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this operation.