Apollo Nida*Apollo Nida’s life behind bars now includes time in maximum security after officials caught him using a cell phone he smuggled into prison.

A prison insider tells RadarOnline that back in February, officials discovered the 37-year-old estranged husband of Phaedra Parks using the phone to call friends and family from the Fort Dix Correctional Institute. Since being transferred late last fall, Nida has been at the prison to finish an eight-year sentence on fraud and theft charges.

According to the Fort Dix source, Nida isn’t coming out clean from bringing in the forbidden phone.

“The prison staff took Apollo’s violation very seriously,” the source tells Radar. “He was taken out of camp with the general population and placed in maximum security.”

Nida’s stint in maximum security will last 18 months and require that his loved ones, including sons Ayden 5, and Dylan 2, must receive a full body scan before visits to see their dad.

Despite taking the boys to see Nida earlier this year, don’t look for Parks to be suspected of smuggling in the cell phone.

“Phaedra has not been questioned,” the prison source assured “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fans.

Nida’s cell phone situation isn’t winning him friends with prison staff. Nor is his ego doing him any favors with his fellow inmates, who the insider mentioned have been alienated

“Apollo is not well-liked among the other prisoners because he thinks he’s still a famous reality star,” the source explains. “He wanted special treatment, and had a hard time adjusting to prison life.”