2 of 2 added 16 characters in body

Meta_Query refuses to return results

I am attempting to return posts for a specific query. Using the following code:

$meta_query = array(
    'relation' => 'OR',
    array(
        'key'     => 'tic_assignment',
        'value'   => $current_user -> ID,
        'compare' => '=',
    ),
    array(
        'key'     => 'tic_department',
        'value'   => $_depts,
        'compare' => 'LIKE',
    ),
);
$_args = array ( 'post_type' => 'tickets',
    'meta_query' => $meta_query,
    'posts_per_page' => 10, 
    'orderby' => 'date', 
    'order' => 'DESC', );
$the_query = new WP_Query( $_args );

Now, instead of returning my posts based on the query added, it still returns every post.

I have var_dumped $the_query and what is returned is here: https://pastebin.com/PPYaJpSu

(It's just too big to paste it all here)

Even if I take out the second array, it still returns everything... when it should not return anything based on the tic_assignment

When I modify the arguments to:

$_args = array ( 'post_type' => 'tickets',
    'meta_key' => 'tic_assignment',
    'meta_value' => $current_user -> ID,
    'meta_compare' => '=',
    'posts_per_page' => 10, 
    'orderby' => 'date', 
    'order' => 'DESC', );
$the_query = new WP_Query( $_args );

The proper query is constructed, and the proper results are returned.

What gives?