25/06/2018 – MiamiHerald. / Dante Starks, a former cop, political aide and lobbyist known for making secret deals throughout his career in Miami-Dade, may have cut the biggest deal of his life on Monday.
Starks, 55, agreed to plead guilty to a bribery and extortion conspiracy along with failing to file a tax return, all in a bid to limit his possible prison sentence to six years in the FBI’s long-running corruption investigation of Opa-locka City Hall. But Starks is expected to get much less time if he can deliver other targets of the probe, including elected officials.
Starks once wielded so much political power behind the scenes in Opa-locka that he was known as the “shadow mayor,” who for a price could deliver commission votes for multimillion-dollar contracts and resolve disputes over building permits, zoning licenses and water connections.
As part of his plea agreement, Starks promised to provide inside information on bribery payments from his extortion racket with several now-convicted city officials, employees and contractors, including testimony before the federal grand jury if requested by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He must also pay the government tens of thousands of dollars in restitution and back taxes for his unreported personal income between 2014 and 2016.