Correct title: Is it legal to bait or troll a sting operation"
Disclaimers: not legal advice, not a request for legal advice, messing with sting operations are likely to result in severe suffering, regardless of whether or not you actually broke the law.
I’ve actually been curious about this for a while, but I recently heard an anecdote about a friend of a friend who saw something suspicious in his neighborhood, called police, found that the police weren’t terribly interested after they saw the thing, then the friend decided to do some private sleuthing and promptly walked into a police sting operation and was arrested. Apparently he managed to escape without conviction, though I can imagine the ordeal.
I was curious as to (opinions from any common law jurisdiction are welcome), whether or not it is per se a crime to mess with, bait, ot troll sting operations or things that you or a reasonable person who knew what you knew would believe were sting operations.
E.g. if I went to some chat room, found “Suzie_12_PalmBeach”, suspected that this was a sting operation persona for an anti-pedophile investigator, and then proceeded to chat “her” up for hours on innocient topics and otherwise have a good time thinking about how I’m wasting some cop’s time who is hoping that I’ll commit an offense that I have no intention of committing, have I committed an offense?
The only offense that seems relevant would be Obstruction of Justice, but that doesn’t seem to match as intending to reduce police efficency isn’t the same as intending to compromise a specific case or prevent the discovery of a specific offense, which is normally an element of Obstruction of Justice.