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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ethel Johnson couldn't get her prescription for pain medication filled fast enough. The 60-year-old Buffalo woman was hurting — but investigators say that wasn't the reason for the rush. According to secretly recorded telephone conversations, the sooner Johnson could pick up her pills, the more quickly she could sell them to her dealer. Her pain pills were destined for the street. Johnson is among 33 people charged so far in a large-scale investigation that has opened a window into an emerging class of suppliers in the illicit drug trade: medical patients, including many who rely on the publicly funded Medicaid program to pay for their appointments and prescriptions. She has pleaded not guilty.