A DRUG dealer jailed for his role in a cocaine racket worth hundreds of thousands of pounds has been updating his Instagram followers from behind bars.

Joel Reading, 21, was sentenced to five years and seven months for intention to supply the class A drug earlier this year.

Five days later he posted a picture of himself with the caption: "Keeping it real behind the steel."

He was a member of Jamie Oldroyd’s drugs gang, which was uncovered after police intercepted a connected group’s van driving from Kent to Warrington with £20m of cocaine inside.

The picture, posted to more than 1,300 followers, shows the Gorse Covert man in front of a cell door with ‘Redo WA3’ written on it.

The caption reads: “Keeping it real behind the steel, lets roll on 2022.”

He is due to be released that year, and will serve the second half of his sentence on licence in the community.

Warrington Guardian:

Joel Reading

Reading updated his Instagram story as recently as this week, when he posted a photo of his cell and previously changed his username to ‘Mrlesleychow30’ – a reference to Mr Chow, an Asian drug lord in The Hangover films, who he also has on his profile picture.

The account is set to private and includes an optimistic bio, labelled: “Is what it is, live and learn!”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “The Instagram account has been taken down and the prisoner involved will be punished.

“Those found with a mobile phone in prison face more time behind bars.

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“We are spending an extra £100 million on phone-blocking technology, along with airport-style security and new scanners to stop them getting into prisons in the first place.”

But Reading's account is still currently visible on the platform.