Dozens of illegal guns seized in raid on commodities trader's home in Lake Forest Homeowner's gun permit had been revoked, source says, and he is now charged with multiple felony counts of possessing guns By David Heinzmann and Susan Kuczka | Tribune reporters 6:24 PM CDT, May 8, 2008 Federal agents and Illinois State Police raided the multimillion-dollar Lake Forest home of a commodities trader Thursday morning to seize at least 85 illegal guns, law enforcement sources said. The homeowner, Benjamin Stevens, 49, was arrested and charged with multiple felony counts of possessing a firearm without a Firearm Owner's Identification card, Lake County prosecutors said. Stevens' card was revoked in 2002 after a domestic battery arrest, a law enforcement source said. Authorities will test two .50-caliber machine guns seized in the raid to determine whether they were capable of firing in fully automatic mode, which would lead to more serious federal charges, said ATF Special Agent Donald Sorrano. Police and agents also recovered more than 50,000 rounds of ammunition from the home, Sorrano said. If the ammunition turns out to be armor-piercing, that too would be a federal crime, he said. ATF agents and state police raided Stevens' 5,000-square-foot house in the 1900 block of Telegraph Road late in the morning. The home, which has a six-car garage and sits on 2 acres, is worth more than $2 million, public records show. Stevens was charged in March with misdemeanor domestic battery in Lake County after he allegedly pushed his teenage son and wife and struck his teenage daughter. He had been free on $5,000 bail in that case, court records show. His attorney did not immediately return phone calls for comment. Stevens owns Benjamin & Jerold, a Chicago commodities brokerage with an office on Jackson Boulevard in the Loop. However, phone numbers and a Web site for the firm were not working Thursday. In 1994, Benjamin & Jerold paid a $7,500 fine for conducting business without effectively qualified and registered employees, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The firm paid a $5,000 fine to the Illinois Securities Department a year later on similar charges. In 2000, the firm paid $12,312.50 in damages after being accused of fraudulent activity, negligence and breach of contract, the regulatory authority's records show. Stevens' home sits on a secluded two-lane road lined with multimillion-dollar mansions on sprawling lots in the western part of Lake Forest. Early Thursday afternoon, about a dozen unmarked vehicles lined the winding driveway, and a large white truck was parked in front of the front door. Neighbors who asked not to be identified said they rarely saw Stevens, but he recently had been upset about flooding at his residence following a water-main break in the neighborhood. Tribune reporters Emily S. Achenbaum and Joshua Boak contributed to this report.