With all due respect - and it is considerable in light of your contributions to the hobby/sport - I can imagine that more people are lurking and not weighing in to opine because there is no point in debating someone who sees ''thinking'' and ''acting'' as the same thing.
What we're talking about here is someone who (allegedly, at this point) did a heckuva lot more than just ''think''. He communicated back and forth to make detailed and specific plans to engage in an illegal activity, and then got in a car and traveled some distance with every intent (again, allegedly at this point) to carry them out. If you can't discern the difference between the two, what's the point even discussing it?
You claim to revere the Constitution. Do you? Yes, it gives defendants a lot of rights, but it also gives society at large some defensive mechanisms as well. The constitutional legitimacy of the ''sting'' as a law enforcement tool has been upheld time and time again by state and federal courts, all the way up to the Supremes, composed of judges and justices that lean both left and right. That is why the penalties for conspiracy are in most cases nearly as severe as those for actual commission of a crime. Law enforcement agencies have been using it for a long time and are well versed in scripting them to demonstrate intent, which is the crux of a successful prosecution. Entrapment, which is convincing someone to do something he would not otherwise do, is a legal stumble that is not often made these days, and the sting scripts usually give potential offenders multiple opportunities to opt out.
You say you are compassionate, but where is your compassion for the victims of these crimes, who are at the very least emotionally scarred for their entire lifetimes? That is the point of these operations, and when they are set in motion there is no plan (usually) on the part of law enforcement to go after any specific individual.
This kind of sting is set up to catch serious, serial offenders, and my guess (pure, unalloyed speculation) is that Jason is a little fish that got caught in the net because of a one-time, dumb@$$ mistake. Even if he is convicted or pleads, assuming there is no furthere evidence of past and repeated similar behavior, he might get probation and court-ordered counseling.
Whatever the outcome, this whole nasty episode will have gone a long way toward ''curing'' whatever emotional or psychological ailments might have existed.
I wish Jason, and especially his family, friends and supporters, all the best going forward.
From a compassionate, cigar-smoking law enforcement guy (a Piggy? wow... hmmm...)