1. Anyone who offers you high grade explosives is a cop. (Yes, anyone.) The best thing to do when you feel like someone is trying to entrap you is to state firmly that you do not agree with/wish to participate in the questionable action they are suggesting and disassociate with them.
2. Never brag about illegal activities online or to friends. I don’t care how cool they are, or how long you’ve known them, everyone has a breaking point. When people get scared they will sing like a canary. The safest bet is to tell NO ONE.
3. The state almost never has a case until somebody talks. NEVER incriminate your comrades. They will use your fear against you. They’ll tell you they have all the evidence in the world and that you’re going to jail for the rest of your life. They will tell you that all your friends are turning on you. They are almost always lying. In The United States there is no penalty for refusing to incriminate yourself, a.k.a. pleading the Fifth Amendment. Direct all tough guy harassing cops to your lawyer.
4. The public defender is not your friend. They are being paid to be there whether they win or lose. They have absolutely no professional investment in your case. Many times the public defenders are ex-prosecutors who work with the judges to get convictions by scaring their clients into plea deals. Do not reveal incriminating evidence to them if you can help it. NEVER admit guilt, even to them. If you can afford it, a paid attorney is your best legal defense.
5. The cops have no moral investment in whether or not you walk out of that court house or are led out in chains. Never trust them. Their job is to fuck you over in any way they can. They will not jeopardize their careers to make moral decisions which are at odds with the legal system that they work for. They do not want to help you, so don’t fall for it.